There are notable exceptions, of course, but on the whole, cycling does not attract as many ethnic minority participants as, say, athletics. As one way to break down barriers, British Cycling has just achieved an equal opportunity standard created by Sport England, the successor to the Sports Council of old, and the Commission for Racial Equality.

Why is cycling a ‘whites-only’ sport?

British Cycling has met the Preliminary Level of the Sporting Equals’ Achieving Racial Equality: A Standard for Sport.

It’s not alone: other orgs to announce meeting the standard at the same time include the Football Association and the English Ski Council.

They were assessed by a panel consisting of representatives from Sport England and Sporting Equals, as well as representatives from other national governing bodies of sport.

The organisations already awarded the Preliminary Level are athletics, badminton, baseball-softball, basketball, canoeing, cricket, gymnastics, hockey, lawn tennis, netball, rounders, rugby league, and rugby union.

Cecil Edey, Assistant Director of Liverpool City Council and chair of the Assessment Panel said: "These sports have provided the required evidence that shows they are working towards tackling racism and achieving racial equality."

Tessa Sanderson, the vice-chair of Sport England, said: "Sport England expects all sports to put policies, procedures and plans in place to tackle racism and promote racial equality."

Sporting Equals is a project within the CRE funded by the Commission and Sport England with a clear objective to promote racial equality in sport. The project has developed the Racial Equality Charter for Sport – a public commitment to racial equality which sports can sign – and Achieving Racial Equality: A Standard for Sport – a framework of good practice with objectives and targets.

Organisations working on the Standard are expected to provide evidence that they are meeting the objectives, and the evidence is assessed by the Standard Assessment Panel. Any sport can submit evidence, but Sporting Equals only provides intensive support to those governing bodies identified in the funding agreement with Sport England.

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