British Cycling Launches Action Plan Following Accusations Of Sexism And Bullying

British Cycling Launches Action Plan Following Accusations Of Sexism And Bullying

Jess Varnish’s Lawyer Comments On Latest Announcement By Cycling’s Governing Body

An Irwin Mitchell employment lawyer who is representing former Team GB Olympic cyclist Jess Varnish, has welcomed the announcement that British Cycling will be more caring to its riders in the future.

The action plan was launched yesterday and although leading employment lawyer Simon Fenton believes it’s a major step forward, he says the organisation will ultimately be judged by whether it provides Jess with the opportunity to compete for her place on British Cycling’s elite programme.

Jess Varnish is still battling to get access to the full report into her complaint about sexism and bullying against British Cycling’s former technical director Shane Sutton. Her complaint was upheld last October, but in December it was found that Sutton could only be proved guilty of only one of nine allegations.

Following this case and ahead of a full investigation into the governing body, the chairman of British Cycling, Jonathan Browning, has said he will be making changes as part of an action plan which would prioritise “athlete and participant welfare”.

The action plan’s aims include a review of procedures around complaints reporting and handling. It says it will also provide a “whole life” development opportunities for every rider and support those who leave the programme.

Expert Opinion

“This action plan is full of good intentions and it is vital that British Cycling delivers. There is however not much detail and ultimately, we will judge the governing body by its actions and from my client’s point of view that means a full apology and the opportunity to prove that she is again capable of winning Olympic gold medals.”

Simon Fenton,
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David Shirt

David Shirt

David provides PR support to Irwin Mitchell’s business legal teams across all of its offices.

He manages thought leadership campaigns and regularly works with national broadcast, print and trade media in relation to key business issues.

In addition to providing the media with timely business legal comment on breaking news stories throughout the day, David works closely with Head of Communications, Mark Duffell, and handles requests for information regarding the Irwin Mitchell Group. He is also the main media contact for Irwin Mitchell Group company Ascent.

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