Varnish dispute with British Cycling and UK Sport to go to tribunal
Jess Varnish’s long-running dispute with British Cycling and UK Sport is to be heard before Manchester Employment Tribunal next week, her legal representative has announced. Track cyclist Varnish was seeking to compete at the
2016 Rio Olympics, but was removed from the Great Britain team just a few months prior to the Games. She alleges she was discriminated against and the tribunal, over the irst part of her claim, will consider only if, as an athlete in receipt of UK Sport funding, she was self-employed or an employee.the case could have repercussions for the hundreds of athletes, across Olympic and Paralympic disciplines, who are backed by UK Sport and their respective national governing bodies. Should it be ruled that Varnish was an employee, the parties would reconvene for a tribunal in 2019 to decide whether she suffered from sex discrimination.
Varnish was dropped by British Cycling in April 2016 after the 2016 Track Cycling World Championships in London, after the two-woman, two-rider team sprint squad she was part of failed to qualify for the Rio Olympics. The athlete, now 28, alleged sex discrimination against Shane Sutton, then the technical director of British Cycling. Sutton resigned and was subsequently found to have used sexist language.