Sutton short-listed for Cycling Australia's high-performance director role

British Cycling’s Shane Sutton before the London Track Worlds

British Cycling’s Shane Sutton before the London Track Worlds

Shane Sutton is one of seven people in the running to become Cycling Australia's high performance director, according to the Australian Associated Press (AAP). Previous incumbent Kevin Tabotta resigned from his position in September after 20 years with the national body.

Sutton was part of the British Cycling set-up from 2002, first as a coach and finally as the Technical Director before he was suspended by the body following allegations of sexism by track rider Jess Varnish. Sutton was also accused of referring to para cyclists as gimps and wobblies. British Cycling launched a review into the allegations and Sutton resigned from his position a day after his suspension.

Sutton has always denied making sexist remarks and recently said that he could not recall the comments made towards the para cyclists. In October, British Cycling announced the findings of the independent review and upheld Varnish's accusations. They also launched their own search for a new head of performance.

"We are looking for the next person to be a really strong leader of a very strong cycling system," Cycling Australia CEO Nick Green said according to AAP. "Australia and Great Britain are probably regarded as the two best high-performance cycling nations. Great Britain are number one, and clearly our strategy is to knock them off in four years' time."

It's not clear who he is up against for the position of high performance director. In June, Green told Sky Sports News that there was no room for Sutton in Cycling Australia, saying "Australia only has room for one Sutton." Sutton's brother, Gary, already works as a coach with Cycling Australia.

Cycling Australia began the interview process for the position on Wednesday with a view to the successful candidate starting in March. Australia will be looking to improve on their 2016, which saw them finish 13th on the medal table at the Olympic Games.

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