Sutton suspended over discrimination claims

Shane Sutton

Australian Shane Sutton joined British Cycling as a coach in 2002

British Cycling chief Shane Sutton has been suspended amid an investigation into discrimination allegations.

It follows a report in the Daily Mail that claimed Sutton made derogatory comments about Para-cyclists.

Cyclist Jess Varnish previously said Sutton made sexist comments towards her and told her to “go and have a baby”.

The 25-year-old, dropped from the GB team after failing to qualify for Rio, said she spoke out against Sutton to change attitudes at British Cycling.

The organisation said it began a review into its performance programmes after Varnish’s claims.

Sutton’s suspension – and an “internal investigation” – followed the further discrimination allegations, it added.

Australian Sutton, 58, denies all the allegations. He says British Cycling did not renew Varnish’s contract because her times had slowed over the past three years.

Varnish has been been invited to meet the equalities officer of British Cycling to discuss her concerns.

In a statement released on Tuesday, she said: “I remain open to sharing my experiences with both British Cycling and/or UK Sport, and will happily engage with any investigations into the comments that Shane Sutton has made to me, and other riders.”

Sutton joined British Cycling as a coach in 2002 and was part of the team that won seven track gold medals at both the 2008 Beijing and London 2012 Olympics.

He was made technical director in 2014 when predecessor Sir Dave Brailsford stepped down after a decade in charge. Sutton was due to be in charge of performance at the Rio Olympics, which start in 100 days’ time.

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