Jess Varnish has expressed her relief in the news that British Cycling upheld her claims that Shane Sutton used “inappropriate and discriminatory language” towards her.
The national governing body released its findings from an internal investigation on Friday (October 28), six months after former Great Britain track sprinter Varnish alleged that Sutton told her “to go and have a baby” and said that she had a “fat arse”. Sutton was suspended by British Cycling pending the investigation and subsequently resigned.
The in-house investigation is to be followed by an independent review, jointly commissioned by BC and UK Sport, that will review the culture within the organisation.
“I spoke out because I wanted to shine a light on the culture at British Cycling, a culture that in my mind was incorrect,” Varnish, writing on her personal website, said.
“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 per cent 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.”
The findings mean that Sutton is now highly unlikely to be re-employed by BC, and his wife, Abbie, took to Twitter on Friday evening to condemn the report and alleged that Varnish was a “liar”. She has since deleted the post.
The independent review is expected to report back before the end of this year.