Like this site? Help us to make it better.

Jess Varnish reacts after British Cycling upholds her Shane Sutton complaint

Hopes investigation will give rise to improved culture at British Cycling

Jessica Varnish has said she is relieved that British Cycling upheld her complaint that Shane Sutton used inappropriate and discriminatory language towards her. She expressed her hopes that the organisation could now work towards creating a better environment for the Great Britain team.

Varnish alleged that Sutton had told her to ‘go and have a baby’ when she was dropped from the Olympic programme in April – claims that drew support from a number of other riders who said they had had similar experiences.

British Cycling yesterday upheld her complaint following an internal investigation, the findings of which will now be passed to UK Sport as it continues a separate independent investigation into allegations of sexism and discrimination within British Cycling’s World Class Programme.

In a statement on her website, Varnish said:

“I spoke out because I wanted to shine a light on the culture at British Cycling, a culture that in my mind was incorrect. I’m relieved that the British Cycling board have acknowledged that the language used towards me was inappropriate and discriminatory and I would like to thank those involved and those that contributed to the investigation for their time and effort.

“I’ve always believed in standing up for yourself, especially when you know things are wrong. It wasn’t easy for me to talk about this experience and I could’ve quite easily said and done nothing, but that isn’t me. I’ve always given 100% to my sport, and am still in love with cycling, so I hope that British Cycling can use this investigation as a way to improve and create a better environment for the Great Britain team.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

Add new comment


Butty | 7 years ago

BC have it all wrong apparently:

racingcondor | 7 years ago

It seems like the BC route until now was 'we know best, this is how it's done' ignoring that differences in psychology of the athlete mean that it's not a one size fits all situation.

Clearly Shane and his methods (however rigid) worked for some but not others which can only have been to the detriment of the team as a whole where some athletes couldn't reach their potential.

Hopefully BC can learn from this and the programme benefit in the long run. I'd also like to see Jess forgiven by the management and back in competition where she ought to be but given the long list of riders who seem to have been written off for stepping out of line that would be a big ask...

SNS1938 | 7 years ago
1 like

Jess in only 26 (right?), and her Instagram shows that she's still keeping fit. Hope she gets back into BC and hits her top form again.

FatBoyW | 7 years ago
1 like

Everyone's a loser in this one. The real crime was not taking qualifying seriously enough early enough which ended with Jess losing out on making the sprints.


was it just Sutton who decided to risk Olympic places sending inexperienced riders to qualification races?

Get your house in order BC...



Leviathan | 7 years ago
1 like

What happened to all the Sutton to come back stories this week; just playing both sides of the story? Let him go and work for Astana.

Al__S replied to Leviathan | 7 years ago

Leviathan wrote:

What happened to all the Sutton to come back stories this week; just playing both sides of the story? Let him go and work for Astana.

I think that was the utter arrogance of a man who doesn't think he's done anything wrong because he still doesn't understand why his sexism/ableism/etc is wrong. After all, this is a guy with a history of violence...

Latest Comments