Jess Varnish to sue UK Sport and British Cycling

Legal route: Jess Varnish: Getty Images

Jess Varnish is to sue UK Sport and British Cycling over sexual discrimination and the reputational damage caused by her whistleblowing.

The 26-year-old sparked a bullying and sexism row when she was removed from funding in the lead-up to last year’s Rio Olympics, amid claims she was told by former British Cycling technical director Shane Sutton “to go have a baby” — a claim he denies and which he was cleared of by British Cycling.

Varnish had already suggested she was planning to sue the sport’s national governing body over her treatment and this week a preliminary court hearing ruled she potentially also had grounds to sue UK Sport.

Her lawyer’s argument is that she should have been regarded as an employee of both British Cycling and UK Sport, which provided her funding before it was cut. A hearing has been tabled for April.