Shane Sutton says he will appeal after British Cycling upheld Jessica Varnish’s complaint against him last week. The organisation’s former technical director said he was keen to return to a coaching job and would also be considering other roles. Cycling Australia is currently advertising for a high performance director to lead its elite teams and he said this was one possible option.
Varnish alleged that Sutton had told her to ‘go and have a baby’ when she was dropped from the Olympic programme in April. Sutton had been confident he would be cleared and The Guardian reports that he was taken aback when her complaints were upheld.
“It hit me a little bit [from] left field, that one. I suppose being around all them athletes and being used to winning so often it was a bit of a kick in the guts to lose because I pretty much based everything in my defence on evidence, so it was a bit of a surprise. But at the end of the day I’m going to live to fight another day. I’m going to appeal, I’m just waiting for the supporting evidence to come back from my lawyer and we’re going to take it from there.”
As for whether his appeal would be successful, Sutton now appears less optimistic, presenting a return to British Cycling as a possibility rather than a probability. “Steve McClaren just went back to Derby [17 months after being sacked as manager]. Never say never. It’s sport. And who’s to say you won’t see Big Sam back at Sunderland if David Moyes decides to retire?”
He said he had spoken with Sir Dave Brailsford about his future and was also investigating other avenues. “I’ve gone away, recharged the batteries and I just feel like the palate is starting to get wet again and I’m ready to come back.”
Referring to the Cycling Australia coaching role, he said that he would consider applying, but with children and grandchildren in the UK, he isn’t sure. “Course I would like to talk to Australia, but it’s going to take time. I know they’ve advertised the job, whether I apply, I’m not 100% convinced on that; that’s something I’ve got to talk to my family about, it’s a big ask.”