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by Mark Zalewski
January 21, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Caleb Ewan claims sprint hat-trick at the Tour Down Under, Porte poised for Willunga defence; Cookson defends Sutton over bullying claims, says he has a great respect for him; Tour Down Under boss pushing for World Championships in 2020; Court to rule in case involving Thomas Dekker tell-all book; Anna van der Breggen ready for new team, new challenges; Christine Majerus ready for to welcome the cyclocross world to Luxembourg; Lars Boom to skip final World Cup; Wanda Group posts nine percent gain in sports division; Steven Hyde is CX Captain America; Video: Tour Down Under, stage 4 highlights; Backstage Pass – TDU, stage 4; Velon ready to bring more action in 2017; Sven Vanthourenhout is on thin ice.
Commenting on the bullying allegations made against former British Cycling head coach Shane Sutton, UCI president Brian Cookson has said that the Australian is someone he has a lot of respect for.
“I always found Shane Sutton to be a very competent and experienced coach, very successful,” he told media at the Santos Tour Down Under. “I think in any organization you need a balance of individuals with different personalities. I think Shane has many very positive qualities. He’s a guy that I think many people trusted, found supportive, and got on very well with.
“Perhaps a number of people didn’t find his approach quite so comfortable, but many did, and the proof of the pudding is in the eating, in the medals that were secured. If you look around, for all of the people that said negative things about Shane, there are also people that said very positive things about Shane. He’s someone who I have a great respect for.”
In spring of 2016 Sutton faced allegations of sexism from BC rider Jess Varnish. The sprinter had previously been critical of the federation after she missed out on Olympic qualification, and was later dropped from the Olympic Podium Programme. Sutton insisted at the time that this was not payback for her criticism. Varnish lodged a complain about Sutton, who also came under fire due to claims that he had referred to members of the Paralympic team as ‘gimps’ and ‘wobblies.’
He said that he was confident that he would be cleared, but resigned his position. On October 28th British Cycling’s board announced the result of its investigation. It dismissed most of Varnish’s complaints, but found that he had used ‘inappropriate and discriminatory language.’ Both he and Varnish expressed disappointment with the outcome, and have lodged appeals.
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