Varnish steps up case against Sutton with British Cycling

British sprinter's attorney requests all communications from coaches

Jess Varnish's attorneys have sent a sweeping request for information to British Cycling, asking for a massive amount of information regarding her case of discrimination and intimidation by coach Shane Sutton, according to The Guardian.

The legal team has asked for all text messages between the former technical director Sutton and his coaches Iain Dyer, Justin Grace and Jan van Eijden, any emails or documents that mention her, as well as performance data, medical records, personnel files and the full report on the internal investigation into her allegations.

The brief summary of the inquiry's findings in October concluded that Sutton had used "inappropriate and discriminatory language".

Varnish was left out of the Olympic Games and removed from the British Olympic Podium Programme. The move came after the 25-year-old sprinter was vocal in her complaints about the way coaches handled the qualification for the Olympics. Varnish and her team sprint partner Katy Marchant were second in the final World Cup and fifth in the World Championships but failed to qualify a spot in the team sprint for the Games for Great Britain.

Varnish blamed the decisions of the coaches, but Sutton said the choice was made purely on performance. "They went head-to-head on five occasions with the French team who beat them overall by three points, and the French beat them on four occasions. So they didn't deserve the place. She [Varnish] had a golden opportunity to qualify. But then because she didn't she looked to blame everyone else."

Sutton said Varnish had been on a downward trajectory since London and, "There is no point carrying on and wasting UK Sport's money on someone who is not going to medal going forward."

Varnish claimed that Dyer had heard her interview at the World Championships criticizing the coaches, and that soon she was dismissed from the team, alleging that Sutton had told her "that I should just move on and go and have a baby". She filed a formal complaint against Sutton with British Cycling, who opened an internal investigation.

British Cycling suspended Sutton, who then resigned, and later issued summary of its inquiry and stated, "The board wishes to put on record its sincere regret that this happened."

However, Varnish recently learned that only one of nine instances of discriminatory language was upheld, that Sutton had called women "bitches", and said she would appeal those decisions.

Sutton also asked to see the evidence, stating that the conversations never occurred. "I'm totally adamant that no conversations took place of that nature and that's why I've asked for the supporting evidence. As far as I'm concerned there were two people in this conversation. So where is the evidence that this conversation, these comments took place? There is no proof," Sutton told the Sunday Telegraph in October. He also appealed British Cycling's decision.

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