Chris Boardman has described Shane Sutton as the victim of a 'lynch mob' after the British Cycling technical director was forced to resign amid allegations of sexism and improper conduct.
Sprinter Jess Varnish spoke out against the Australian after being dropped from the Olympic programme last month, alleging that Sutton had told her to 'go and have a baby’. A string of further accusations of discriminatory behaviour then followed, including claims that Paralympic athletes were referred to as 'gimps' and 'wobblies'.
Sutton was initially suspended on a provisional basis by British Cycling but then resigned definitively.
"It was a bit of a lynch mob," said Boardman, a former Olympic gold medalist on the track, in an interview with British newspaper The Times.
"Sexism, bullying, selection… it was throwing mud at British Cycling and seeing what sticks. And one individual held responsible for everything.
"Where we got on or not – and we didn't always get on – I thought it was a horrible trial by press for a week with just one side of the story. Shane's behaviour was always passionate and right on the edge, Australian. It's a really sad way to end a career of 20 years."
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In an interview with Cyclingnews just after Sutton's resignation, Boardman said he welcomed the news of an independent review into the culture at British Cycling, arguing that it presented an "opportunity" for the federation to move forward.
"It's an interesting position for British Cycling going forward and I think that's good for every business to review and take opportunities when they're brought to you. No matter how they are brought to you," he said.