Jess Varnish demands full release of evidence in Shane Sutton inquiry

Legal team set to challenge British Cycling's decision to clear Sutton of eight of nine bullying and sexual harassment allegations

Jess Varnish (Photo: Andy Jones)

Former Great Britain track sprinter Jess Varnish has called for a full release of all evidence surrounding British Cycling's investigation into her claims against its former technical director Shane Sutton.

Last week a leaked report showed that Sutton had been cleared of eight of the nine accusations of bullying and sexual harassment made against him by Varnish, with BC finding that the Australian had used the word "bitches" but had not used the "c-word" or referred to female cyclists as "sheilas".

Simon Fenton, Varnish's lawyer, said that his client felt "shocked, upset, and bewildered" at the decision, and has now made a request to BC to release all evidence related to the case under the Data Protection Act.

According to The Guardian, Fenton has called for the release of:

  • Performance data and other records relating to her training and competition
  • Any emails or other documents in which she was referred to
  • The decision to remove her from the Olympic Podium Programme and to terminate her relationship with British Cycling
  • A copy of any personnel records held on or about her
  • The investigation and report about Ms Varnish’s complaints about Shane Sutton the summary findings of which were sent to her on 5 December 2016
  • Text messages to or from Shane Sutton, Iain Dyer, Justin Grace and Jan van Eijden
  • All medical records

The call for the release of evidence indicates that the case is unlikely to be closed any time soon, with Varnish's legal team expected to challenge the decisions the BC investigation. The exact form that such a challenge will take is unclear.

Sutton, who resigned as BC technical director in May, has always denied all of the allegations made against him

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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.