British track cyclist, Jess Varnish, is claiming wrongful dismissal, sex discrimination and detriment to a whistle-blower after being dropped from the Great Britain cycling team in 2016.
Varnish claims she was dropped by the team less than a month after speaking out against coaches for mistakes made in qualifying for the Rio Olympics. An internal enquiry found that Shane Sutton, the then Technical Director told her to “go and have a baby” and an independent inquiry has accused Sutton of being complicit in a fear culture within British Cycling.
The first challenge for the 28-year-old is to convince the judge she was an employee, this will be assessed as the judge is provided evidence regarding the level of control exerted over her by UK Sport and British Cycling as a funded athlete.
If accepted that athletes could be classed as employees this will mean athletes may be required to pay tax and British Sports funders will become liable for holiday, sick pay and pension contributions.
Watch this space…..