British Cycling boss quits over sexism row

It follows allegations of discrimination

Shane Sutton

Shane Sutton Picture by: Martin Rickett / PA Wire/Press Association Images

British Cycling's technical director Shane Sutton has resigned over allegations of discrimination, plunging the sport into crisis.

He had been suspended on Tuesday after it was claimed he called Paralympic cyclists "gimps".

This came shortly after cycling's UK governing body announced an independent review into claims of sexism made by Jess Varnish.

Sutton claimed he had quit to give British cyclists time to prepare with a different boss, ahead of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in the summer.

He said: "It is absolutely crucial that, as our athletes begin their final preparations for Rio, they are able to do so free of distraction.

"The developments over the past few days have clearly become a distraction.

"It is for this reason, and having spoken to friends and family, that I believe it is in the best interests of British

Cycling for me to step down from my position as technical director."

The sport's governing body launched an internal investigation after cyclist Jess Varnish claimed in a newspaper she was told to "go and have a baby" when her contract was not renewed.

Sutton denies the allegations.

The 58-year-old had been key in the careers of umpteen cyclists, from Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins to double Olympic gold medallist Laura Trott.

He was head coach when Britain won eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games and four years later in London.
British Cycling promoted the Australian-born former professional cyclist in April 2014 to replace former Performance

Director Dave Brailsford, who left to focus solely on Team Sky.