High Performance Sport NZ announces formal investigation into allegations against former Cycling NZ coach Anthony Peden

High Performance Sport NZ has confirmed today it is launching an investigation into the departure of former coach Anthony Peden after accusations of inappropriate behaviour surfaced.

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

1 NEWS revealed exclusively last 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.

High Performance Sport NZ chief executive Michael Scott told 1 NEWS in a statement today more could have been done at their end.

"While I don't yet have all the facts it is clear that we could and should have done more with the information we had," he said.

"I will be commissioning an investigation so that we get to the bottom of this and learn from our mistakes.

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

"Integrity and ethics are fundamentals of sport."

Former staff told 1 NEWS they tried to raise the issue of Peden's behaviour with Cycling NZ on numerous occasions over the past four years.

Three former employees have detailed to 1 NEWS at least seven separate times where during formal debriefs or informal discussions they raised concern about Peden's behaviour.

These discussions included issues with bullying, his relationship with an athlete and his drinking while representing New Zealand abroad, but they say nothing was done.

Despite all this, it's understood Cycling NZ treated the behaviour as a "rumour" until a formal complaint was finally laid this month, after which Peden resigned.

Anthony Peden had been the head sprint coach since 2013.