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by Shane Stokes
June 16, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: Pozzovivo takes stage 6 and overall lead in the Tour de Suisse; Groenewegen wins stage 2 of Ster ZLM Toer; Sam Bennett wins stage 1 of the Tour of Slovenia; Hindley and Hamilton take Australian one-two on final day of Baby Giro, Sivakov wins overall; Loubet wins stage one of the Route du Sud; Min wins stage 2 of the Tour of Korea; Cavendish returns to action with solid ride on stage one of the Tour of Slovenia; Cookson defends biological passport, reveals existence of two ongoing cases; Varnish angry after publication of British Cycling report; Collins says he doesn’t believe Cookson should be re-elected UCI president; Matthews confirmed to lead Team Sunweb at Tour de France as longlist announced; Video: Peter Sagan rides new Specialized Diverge; Video: Throwback Thursday from the 2016 world championships
Jess Varnish (GBR) pictured during 2013 European championships. Her accusations launched the independent investigation into British Cycling.
Jess Varnish, the rider who sparked off the investigation into bullying and discrimination at British Cycling, has said that she is angry at the depiction of her as a troublemaker and ringleader.
That claim was featured in the report, and was rejected by Varnish as being laughable. “Anyone who knows me knows I am not a troublemaker or ringleader. No one has ever been removed from the programme the way I was,” she told The Times. “I am insulted. In a way I’m glad they have used this language because it shows what the people are like in there [at British Cycling].”
The independent review was commissioned by British Cycling and UK Sport in April 2016, in the wake of the allegations made by Varnish. She had been critical of BC when she missed out on Olympic qualification in the team sprint, and was told that she would no longer be part of the elite programme.
The-then BC technical director Shane Sutton had said that declining performance by Varnish was the reason, but she told the Daily Mail in April 2016 that he had told her to ‘get on with having a baby.’ She also claimed that he had made comments about her weight. Although he denied the allegations, other riders then came forward with their own claims of harassment. He stepped aside from his role but insisted that he would be cleared.
The long-awaited independent report was finally released on Wednesday, with Sutton coming in for criticism about his management style. However it didn’t back up Varnish’s claims that she was dismissed from the programme after being critical of coaching decisions, saying instead that it felt her removal didn’t follow contractual due process. She is thought to be considering legal action.