Briton Varnish’s employment tribunal appeal gets cancelled
LONDON (UK) – Former British cyclist Jess Varnish’s employment tribunal appeal against the sport’s national governing body has been repealed, it was announced on Tuesday.
Former European team sprint champion Varnish was pulled off from the national squad before the 2016 Rio Olympics. She had claimed that she should have been considered an employee of British Cycling or the funding agency UK Sport.
The initial employment tribunal in January 2019 was found against Varnish, however, she was given the right to appeal.
Appeal judge Mr Justice Choudhury ruled, “The (original) tribunal was entitled to conclude, based on an evaluative judgment taking account of all relevant factors, that the claimant was not an employee or a worker.”
“The tribunal had not erred in its approach to the assessment of employee status and nor had it reached conclusions that no reasonable tribunal, properly directed, could have reached.”
Varnish originally said she had been asked to “go off and have a baby” by former British Cycling technical director Shane Sutton, who left his post after the allegations.
In a statement, British Cycling said it had tried to reach an agreement with Varnish. It also emphasised that its relationship with athletes was supportive.
It said, “We believe that British Cycling’s relationship with riders who represent this country is not one of employer-employee but that of an organisation supporting dedicated athletes to fulfil their potential.”
“Since Jess raised her concerns about the Great Britain Cycling Team in 2016, we have implemented significant changes to the culture and processes of our high-performance programme.”
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field.