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Shane Sutton takes China coaching job

Will return to Manchester for UCI Track Cycling World Cup next month

British Cycling’s former technical director Shane Sutton will return to the Manchester Velodrome in November having this week accepted a coaching job with China’s track team.

Sutton, who resigned from his position as technical director at the Great Britain Cycling Team in April last year after being accused of bullying and discrimination, was previously linked with the job of high performance director at Cycling Australia.

He was reported to have been one of the final two candidates for that position, but lost out to former British Cycling head coach, Simon Jones, who was at the time working as head of innovation at Team Sky.

The Daily Mail reports that on Friday Sutton signed a contract with the Chinese Cycling Association in Beijing, meaning he will return to the National Cycling Centre in Manchester for the UCI Track Cycling World Cup from November 10-12. 

The Chinese secured just one medal in Rio, in the women's team sprint. That was the event for which Jessica Varnish and Katy Marchant failed to qualify, leading them to blame team management for ‘tinkering’ with the squad.

Varnish subsequently lost her contract with British Cycling and expressed her belief that the decision had not been made on performance grounds. She also claimed that Sutton had told her to “go and have a baby” after she was dropped, precipitating the sexism row that led to multiple investigations and Sutton’s departure.

Speaking earlier this week, new British Cycling chief executive Julie Harrington said that Varnish would be invited to rejoin the organisation’s Podium Programme if she can meet the required performance standards. These are rumoured to be no higher than she was achieving before her removal.

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