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Ex-British Cycling boss Sutton says he is innocent of sexism allegation

Shane Sutton

Sutton was made British Cycling technical director in 2014

Ex-British Cycling technical director Shane Sutton maintained his innocence after he was found to have used sexist language towards Jess Varnish.

The governing body expressed “sincere regret” after an investigation led to Varnish’s allegations being upheld.

Sutton, 59, resigned in April having been suspended pending the investigation, and could yet appeal or take legal action.

“I’m adamant that I am innocent,” the Australian told the Sunday Telegraph.

“I have definitely never overstepped the mark with Jess Varnish or any other athlete.”

Varnish, 25, claimed in an interview with the Daily Mail in April that Sutton told her to “go and have a baby”, adding that she had “a list as long as my arm about comments I’ve had about my figure and it’s not right”.

The former European team sprint champion said she was “relieved” at Friday’s decision.

Sutton, who joined British Cycling in 2002, plans to review the evidence before deciding on his course of action.

“I’m massively disappointed,” he said.

“I put my trust in [the investigation]. I have gone back to them now and asked for the supporting evidence to try to understand how they have arrived at this conclusion.”

The governing body’s report will inform the ongoing independent UK Sport review into the culture of British Cycling’s world-class performance programme, which is due to announce its findings in the next few weeks.

Who is Shane Sutton?

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Sutton and Sir Chris Hoy embrace during the 2012 Olympics in London

Sutton, who won Commonwealth gold as a rider, joined British Cycling as a coach in 2002.

He was part of the team that won seven track gold medals at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, before being promoted following Brailsford’s departure in 2014.

In 2009, British cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy, who went on to win six Olympic gold medals, described Sutton as his mentor and said he had been “hugely influential in my success”.

He said Sutton, who also mentored Britain’s most decorated Olympian Sir Bradley Wiggins, is “so intense that there are times that the only thing you can do is fall out with him”.

Hoy added: “Half the time you want to throttle the guy and the other half you are trying to get into his good books.”

Key dates in Sutton’s career:

  • 1978: Wins track team pursuit gold at Commonwealth Games
  • 1984: Moves to Great Britain
  • 1990: Wins Milk Race (now Tour of Britain)
  • 2002: Joins British Cycling as coach
  • 2008: Wins coach of the year award
  • 2010: Awarded OBE in Queen’s birthday honours list
  • 2012: Diagnosed with bleeding on the brain after a bike crash in Manchester
  • 2014: Appointed technical director of British Cycling after Brailsford leaves

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/37813819