British Cycling upholds Jessica Varnish’s allegation of discrimination against Shane Sutton

Governing body expresses ‘sincere regret that this happened’

British Cycling has upheld Jessica Varnish’s complaint of “inappropriate and discriminatory language” against former British Cycling technical director Shane Sutton following an internal investigation. A broader UK Sport investigation into allegations of sexism and discrimination within British Cycling’s World Class Programme is still ongoing.

Varnish alleged that Sutton had told her to ‘go and have a baby’ when she was dropped from the Olympic programme in April. Her sexism claims were subsequently backed up by other riders, including Victoria Pendleton.

Sutton had earlier in the week expressed confidence that he would be cleared. However, The Guardian reports a statement from British Cycling as saying:

“Following an internal investigation, the British Cycling board has upheld an allegation made by Jess Varnish that former technical director Shane Sutton had used inappropriate and discriminatory language. The board wishes to put on record its sincere regret that this happened.”

The statement also said that the full text of the board’s report had been made available for UK Sport’s independent review.

The statement added: “The findings of the investigation will help the development of the organisation alongside the independent review into the culture of the world class programme, jointly commissioned by British Cycling and UK Sport, and led by Annamarie Phelps.”

The governing body said that no further comment would be made on the matter until after the independent review.

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