Shane Sutton suspended by British Cycling over discrimination allegations

Shane Sutton has been suspended by British Cycling pending an investigation Credit: Martin Rickett / PA

ITV News correspondent Richard Pallot reports:

British Cycling has suspended its technical director Shane Sutton over claims of discriminatory behaviour.

The governing body launched an independent review on Tuesday evening after claims of sexism by Jess Varnish, who alleges she was told to "go and have a baby" after her contract was not renewed.

That was followed by reports that he had called Paralympic cyclists derogatory names, including "gimps".

The Australian denies all the allegations.

When asked by the Times if he had told Varnish to "go and have a baby" after she was dropped from the British team, the 58-year-old said: "One hundred per cent no. There was never any talk of babies. I don't know where that's come from.

"Jess is a wonderful girl, a beautiful person, I couldn't ask for any more from her on the programme. Unfortunately everything comes to an end and unfortunately her time on the programme is done."

Varnish's statement, released prior to the announcement, was strongly critical of the way her departure from the programme was handled.

She said: "I feel that chance is being denied to me unfairly. I also want to change the culture at British Cycling and their treatment of women.

"The comment that Shane Sutton told me 'to go and have a baby' is true. I stand by all my statements in the Daily Mail interview and have examples of other comments made to me during my time at British Cycling by Shane Sutton dating back many years.

She added that by sharing her experiences she hoped changes would be made.

In a statement, British Cycling said:

Following the announcement of an independent review into British Cycling's performance programmes, we are also announcing technical director Shane Sutton has been suspended pending an internal investigation into the allegations of discrimination that have been reported in the press.

British Cycling statement