13th December 2016

Varnish to appeal British Cycling’s findings in sexism complaint

Jess Varnish is to appeal after finding out that British Cycling has rejected eight of nine allegations of sexism against former British Cycling Technical Director Shane Sutton, despite her evidence. “I am instructed to appeal even though we have not been given a right to appeal”, said Varnish’s Solicitor Simon Fenton in a statement. “It seems extraordinary that it has taken them this long to release any findings and when they do, they appear to come to such conflicting solutions”.

In October, British Cycling announced that it had ‘upheld an allegation made by Jess Varnish that former Technical Director Shane Sutton had used inappropriate and discriminatory language’, however it has taken until now for any details to be released to the parties concerned. “Needless to say, Jess is very upset about this”, continued Fenton’s statement. “I’m sure Shane Sutton is very upset about this, too. If the full reasoned decision backs up the summary they have given us – and it emerges that he effectively lost his job over the least of the complaints – then I can see why he would be.”

British Cycling and UK Sport launched an investigation in April, after Sutton revealed in a newspaper interview that Varnish’s contract would not be renewed. Varnish then made the allegations of sexism in an interview with the Daily Mail. Varnish’s comments have been supported by Beijing 2008 gold medal winner Nicole Cooke and by London 2012 gold medal winner Victoria Pendleton. Paralympic cyclist Darren Kenny also told the Daily Mail that Sutton had made disparaging remarks about para-cyclists.

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