Bradley Wiggins has said that he believes Shane Sutton will be cleared of discrimination by the independent panel that is currently examining the culture within British Cycling.
Sutton stepped down as technical director of British Cycling in April following allegations that he had made sexist remarks to sprinter Jess Varnish on releasing her from the Olympic squad and disparaged Paralympic cyclists at Manchester velodrome.
"This whole sexism thing, I'd never, ever seen any sign of that, really," Wiggins told reporters at the Olympics in Rio, according to the Guardian. "If I'm completely honest, I think there's a lot of bitter people that didn't make the grade, got the boot and they have now come out picking holes in things. I think for every one of those there's equally successful people – the Becky James and Laura Trotts of this world – that have been successful. Simply put: if my daughter wanted to get into it, I wouldn't have any problem with her going into British Cycling."
Sutton appeared before the independent panel on August 3 and told Cyclingnews last week that he was confident of clearing his name. Wiggins, who won the fifth Olympic gold medal of his career in the team pursuit on Friday, said that he would not have returned to the track were it not for Sutton, and the Guardian reports that the British coaching staff in Rio has continued to receive advice from the Australian.
"I spoke to him two weeks ago and he said his life is pretty empty without this. I think he has the right to [return]. Why not?" Wiggins said, according to the BBC.
"I don't want to dismiss the claims that have been made by certain people, but I understand more than anyone that there are two sides to every story. I think the tone of how some things are said can be skewed quite a bit as well.
"There are two ways you can take [something] on board when someone says something. And how it's written isn't necessarily how it's said."
Wiggins also confirmed that he will bring the curtain down on his professional career at the Ghent Six in November, where he is set to be partnered by Mark Cavendish, who is currently in action in the Omnium in Rio.
"My first childhood memories are in that building, with my dad," he said. "I rode the Ghent Six-Day when I was 19 and obviously there is the history of the place as well. Eddy Merckx and [Patrick] Sercu raced there together. They were the last Tour de France winner and green jersey winner who raced together and won at Ghent, so me and Cav will be the next ones. It’ll be nice to end it there, yeah."