Daily Mail

Win for Var­nish could hit Olympic fund­ing

- By MATT LAW­TON Chief Sports Re­porter Sports · Society · Discrimination · Human Rights · Olympic Games · United Kingdom · Manchester · Summer Olympics · British Cycling · Rio 2016

JESS VAR­NISH’S lawyers have out­lined their case against UK Sport and Bri­tish Cy­cling, con­ced­ing it could have a mas­sive fi­nan­cial im­pact on Olympic ath­letes in the UK. Var­nish, who made al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual dis­crim­i­na­tion against Bri­tish Cy­cling when she was ejected from the team months be­fore the 2016 Rio Olympics, will ap­pear at a tri­bunal in Manch­ester next week ar­gu­ing that she was an em­ployee, not a con­trac­tor. And if she wins she says that she in­tends to then sue the gov­ern­ing body for dis­crim­i­na­tion. A Var­nish win also has the po­ten­tial to have a dev­as­tat­ing im­pact on the fund­ing of ath­letes. For 1,000 UK Sport-funded ath­letes, be­ing recog­nised as an em­ployee would mean more pro­tec­tion in terms of em­ploy­ment rights and pen­sions but could also mean the money they re­ceive would be sub­ject to in­come tax, which in turn would prob­a­bly mean UK Sport would not be able to sup­port as many ath­letes. Var­nish was un­avail­able for com­ment yes­ter­day but a state­ment from her lawyers said: ‘The wider im­pli­ca­tion is that if a UK Sport-funded ath­lete is given worker or em­ployee sta­tus, then UK Sport will be re­quired to over­haul its cur­rent fund­ing sys­tem. ‘The sig­nif­i­cance of this case has been likened to the Bos­man rul­ing in pro­fes­sional foot­ball which al­lowed foot­ballers to be free agents af­ter their con­tracts ex­pired. ‘The pur­pose of demon­strat­ing that UK Sport-funded ath­letes should be re­garded as em­ploy­ees or work­ers is to en­sure that all ath­letes will have pro­tec­tion from bul­ly­ing and dis­crim­i­na­tion, be sub­ject to in­come tax and re­ceive full state pen­sion al­lowances.’

 ??  ?? Rev­e­la­tions: Sports­mail ex­clu­sive in April 2016
Rev­e­la­tions: Sports­mail ex­clu­sive in April 2016

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