Jess Varnish 'disappointed' after losing landmark legal battle
Last Updated: 17/01/19 6:13pm
Former Great Britain track sprinter Jess Varnish says she is "disappointed" to lose her employment tribunal against British Cycling and UK Sport.
In a statement on Wednesday, her management team said: "Judgement was received and it has been found that Jess Varnish was neither an employee or a worker of either British Cycling or UK Sport."
Varnish, who was cut from the Great Britain cycling programme in March 2016, had hoped to persuade the tribunal she was effectively employed by the sport's national governing body or the elite funding agency so she could then sue British Cycling for discrimination.
The 28-year-old, who is due to give birth to her first child this week, says British Cycling attacked her character, briefed against her and acted in a way that did not uphold the Olympic ideals but reinforced the win at all costs mentality that she criticised them for.
She says she does not regret going through the process and is meeting with lawyers to consider whether to appeal.
In a statement on Thursday she said: "I am disappointed at the judgement, but I have no regrets in going through this process.
"Despite meetings, mediation and attempts at settlement, it was clear that the only way to engage and ensure change occurred within these organisations was a legal challenge.
"There is no other option open to athletes. It took two leading barristers, a team of eight lawyers, a seven-day tribunal, close to £1million in legal fees and a proclamation that the 'skies would fall in' if the system was changed for British Cycling and UK Sport, to answer some simple questions posed by one athlete about the set-up of the World Class Performance System.
"That it required all of this, and that even during the tribunal they struggled to answer simple questions, showed me I was right to push through my concerns and seek clarity, not just for myself, but for all athletes on the World Class Programme, to ensure that the administrators at these organisations are as world class as the athletes that represent them.
"The defence and tactics used against me at times were aggressive, my character was repeatedly called into question, my motives challenged. I was heavily briefed against and my sporting opportunities were lost. This wasn't a defence that upheld the Olympic ideals, rather one that embraced the win at all costs mentality for which they'd recently been criticised.
"I will be meeting with my legal advisors in the coming weeks to consider grounds for an appeal. I take this process seriously and will not appeal for appeal's sake."