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Australian cycling shaken up, gets A$2 million loan

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Cash-strapped national governing body Cycling Australia has had a board shake-out and will receive a A$2 million (US$1.81 million) loan to help lift the sport out of its financial struggles, officials said on Tuesday.

Outgoing president Gerry Ryan, owner of pro cycling team Orica-Greenedge, will step aside for Malcolm Speed, a veteran Australian sports administrator and former boss of the International Cricket Council who will lead a seven-person board from Friday.

The Australian Sports Commission, the agency in charge of channeling government funding into national sports, will kick in A$1.5 million of the loan, with the rest to come from state member associations and Mountain Bike Australia, the ASC said.

“The ASC undertook an independent and rigorous financial analysis of CA including assessment of the various options available,” ASC president John Wylie said.

“After much consideration, the ASC determined that the most effective way of protecting the sport’s strongest assets – its high performance athletes and mass public appeal – was to grant the existing organization a loan on the condition it continues its reform agenda.

“The interest-bearing loan has been provided with a strict set of conditions, including the co-contribution by the sport’s member states, complete governance overhaul, and ongoing financial oversight of the high performance program by the AIS.”

(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

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