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Shane Sutton: Independent report into my behaviour will exonerate me

Former BC technical director denies all allegations made in a 'trial by media'...

The disgraced technical director of British Cycling, Shane Sutton, has said that the organisation will clear his name following an independent review.

The 58-year-old, who hit the news after allegedly telling track sprinter Jess Varnish to "go and have a baby" after she was dropped from British Cycling's Olympic programme, said that his reputation had been unfairly tarnished.

In a week that Chris Boardman said was a ‘trial by media’, it also emerged that Sutton was accused of calling Paralympic cyclists "wobblies" and “gimps”.

Sutton denies all these allegations, saying he never spoke to Varnish and did not use those words.

"There has been some long nights, plenty of phone calls and, yeah, dark times," Sutton told Sky Sports.

"Sure, people will question this and my integrity throughout, but I think I've kept my integrity.

"I've not spoken to anybody about the matter, I've had great support from everybody [and] continued liaising with all the people that I brought to British Cycling over the last two years.

"I know this review process will definitely exonerate me from all of this."

He added: "I made some big decisions, I think I got the best out of the people around me at the time I was in charge there. Anything I would have done differently? No. I can't say I have any regrets at all in the way I acted or conducted myself as technical director.

"Taking over from Dave was never going to be easy. You're talking about the greatest leader definitely in British sport. They don't get any better.

In response to Sutton's interview Varnish tweeted: "I wanted to shine a light on the culture of fear at British Cycling, and I'm glad that numerous other riders and staff came forward to share their experiences.

"I have spoken with and shared information and evidence with both British Cycling and UK Sport and co-operated in their respective investigations which are still due to be published.

"Therefore I don't think it would be responsible or fair to comment further around this matter until these investigations have had a chance to run their course.”

Last month we reported how in a series of interviews following the announcement of his place on Team GB, Sir Bradley Wiggins also said that he was still in touch with Shane Sutton.

“Selfishly, from a personal point of view, we [the men’s endurance squad] had nothing to do with Shane since he took the sort of blazer office job,” Wiggins said. “He wasn't around in the track centre any more. And the day it all happened, when it all hit the fan, we went to the US for a month and missed the whole mass hysteria phase.

“When we came back it was all about new bikes and it had all blown over that storm. So from a team pursuit point of view we haven’t really noticed it – he was here one day and out the next - but it's been noticed higher up the chain. The office is quieter now.”

“I’ve had a couple of texts from him. Shane was the first to text me and say ‘I’m still concerned about this from a performance point of view.’ Or ‘You’ve got to get Burkey [Steven Burke] out of the pub’.

"Just wanting to know how the group's going, or when we were in America how the training camp had gone. I think at the heart of it all he still loves the performance stuff really and I guess that was his downfall, going up the chain.

“His greatest asset was coaching and I think everyone has said that. He’s the best coach in the world probably.”

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

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