British cycling coach found to have made sexist remarks

MANCHESTER, England (AP) " An investigation has found that one of the key figures behind Britain's successful Olympic cycling team used "inappropriate and discriminatory language" toward a female rider.

Shane Sutton resigned as British Cycling's technical director in April over allegations of sexism made by Jess Varnish, who said the Australian coach told her to "move on and have a baby" after she failed to qualify for this year's Olympics and also made derogatory comments about her body shape.

British Cycling launched an investigation into the comments and reported its findings to the board on Friday, saying it upheld Varnish's allegation.

"The board wishes to put on record its sincere regret that this happened," British Cycling said in a statement.

Sutton had rejected the allegations made by Varnish, as well as claims by para-cyclist Darren Kenny that he heard Sutton refer to members of the disability team in derogatory terms.

The 25-year-old Varnish said she was "relieved" at British Cycling's findings.

"I've always believed in standing up for yourself, especially when you know things are wrong," Varnish said. "I spoke out because I wanted to shine a light on the culture at British Cycling, a culture that in my mind was incorrect.

"It wasn't easy for me to talk about this experience and I could've quite easily said and done nothing, but that isn't me. I've always given 100 per cent to my sport, and am still in love with cycling, so I hope that British Cycling can use this investigation as a way to improve and create a better environment for the Great Britain team."

Sutton is a respected coach who has been with the Britain squad since 2002. He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in her honors list in 2010.

Under Sutton, Britain topped the cycling medal standings at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing after winning 14 medals. Britain then won 12 medals in cycling at the London Olympics in 2012.

An independent review into the culture of British Cycling, commissioned by the national governing body and elite sport funding body UK Sport, is ongoing. The internal investigation into Sutton's comments will be shared with the independent review.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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