Jess Varnish is still hoping to represent Great Britain at this year’s Olympic Games despite the fact that she was dropped from the team last month.
Varnish has said that she has a meeting with the new performance director Andy Harrison when she returns from a training trip in Australia. She is convinced that the only reason she was omitted from the team was because of her criticism of senior officials in British Cycling such as technical director Shane Sutton.
However, the Australian denied her claim and said that her exclusion was down to performance related reasons. In a recent interview Sutton described Varnish as “too old” and said that there is no point “wasting” more government funding on her.
— Cyclist (@cyclist) May 17, 2016
Since then Sutton has left his role amid claims of sexism and discrimination towards cyclists which is why Varnish still believes that she has a chance of joining the GB team ahead of the Rio Olympics.
In a statement released this week Varnish said that she has been following developments in the UK and wants to “shine a light on the culture of fear at British Cycling”. She said that she has been in contact with both British Cycling and UK Sport and offered the organisations her full support in their investigations.
She is adamant that her omission from the team is not down to performance as she said, “prior to the 2016 World Championships, I was not once told that I was underperforming.” She went on to say that they have monthly reviews and at no point had she been put under review or given performance targets to keep her place on the team.
She also pointed out that over the two year Olympic qualifying process she earned more qualifying points than any other British female sprint rider and believes that she can go on to win more medals for the team.