Shane Sutton, British Cycling’s technical director has been suspended following allegations of discrimination by rider Jess Varnish. The governing body said they will have an independent review of its performance programs and will launch an internal investigation about allegations of bullying, sexism and derogatory remarks regarding para-cyclists.
Jess Varnish who is a former European champion in the team sprint was removed from the British Cycling performance squad when she was not able to qualify for the Rio Olympics at this year's world championships in London. Varnish accused British Cycling's technical director Sutton of making sexist remarks against her.
In a statement on Tuesday, Varnish claimed other people had experienced similar behavior and said "a culture of fear" existed at British Cycling.
Her claims were backed by Victoria Pendleton describing British Cycling has a “bullying, suffocating culture.”
Nicole Cooke, another former Olympic champion, also voiced her support for Varnish, as did Wendy Houvenaghel, the retired Northern Irish rider describing Sutton as a “narcissistic little bully”.
The British Cycling said it would set up an independent review and that it was "fully committed to the principles and active promotion of equality of opportunity and we must take any such allegations seriously".
"Following the announcement of an independent review into British Cycling’s performance programs, we are also announcing technical director Shane Sutton has been suspended pending an internal investigation into the allegations of discrimination that have been reported in the press", the body added.
New allegation reported Daily Mail said that, Sutton had referred to para-cyclists as “gimps” and “wobblies”.
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