Exclusive: Former Cycling NZ coach Anthony Peden had access to deeply personal and damning confidential athlete interviews with High Performance Sport NZ

New revelations into the departure of former Cycling New Zealand coach Anthony Peden have surfaced in 1 NEWS' ongoing investigation.

More than 20 staff have left Cycling NZ since the Rio Olympics with many saying it’s due to the toxic environment in the team. Source: 1 NEWS

Peden stood down from his role earlier this week but 1 NEWS revealed exclusively on Thursday night that Peden has been accused by cyclists and those close to the team of inappropriate behaviour, with more than 20 staff leaving Cycling New Zealand since the 2016 Olympics due to the toxic environment within the team.

Now, 1 NEWS can reveal Peden had access to confidential athlete interviews conducted by an independent review panel which was representing High Performance Sport New Zealand.

It was part of a post-2016 Olympics debrief, with then-HPSNZ director Mark Elliot sending out an email to staff and riders that anything said would be confidential.

The interviews were conducted by Elliot himself along with High Performance Sport NZ staff Hamish Carter Eddie Kohlhase and Paul Smith.

However, the confidentiality was broken by someone who accessed those documents. Transcripts supplied to 1 NEWS are deeply personal and damning and it's understood Peden had access to them.

Some of the topics discussed in the interviews included no consequences for "s*** behaviour", "a real lack of holding people accountable", "the boozy drinking culture" and a specific off-track incident in France involving Peden and an athlete weeks before the Rio Olympics.

Peden is accused of bullying and an inappropriate relationship with an athlete. Source: 1 NEWS

Chief Executive of High Performance Sport NZ Michael Scott wants to know why nothing was done at the time.

"For me, whether an allegation is rumour, fact, whatever - the circumstance is we are talking about athlete welfare and we need to act on that to either substantiate or dismiss such a thing.

"I don't have all the information in front of me right now - I am learning and acquiring information as I go but now I believe it's appropriate that the investigation examines all those questions."

Scott will present to his board next week at which point he'll reveal the terms of the investigation but he's clear on what he believes is appropriate.

"High performance environment is very intense, very pressured but there is no excuse, repeat that, no excuse for bullying in high performance sport."

The sport’s governing body already confirmed to 1 NEWS that it’s looking into a raft of allegations. Source: 1 NEWS