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.”