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British cycling director suspended after allegations he called Paralympians 'wobblies'

Shane Sutton is now the subject of two separate reviews after also being accused of sexism.

Shane Sutton (right) with Bradley Wiggins at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Shane Sutton (right) with Bradley Wiggins at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Image: John Giles/PA Archive/Press Association Images

BRITISH CYCLING’S TECHNICAL director Shane Sutton was already in trouble following allegations of sexism made by sprinter Jess Varnish at the weekend but he has now been suspended as his organisation conducts a formal investigation into accusations that he called British Paralympic cyclists “gimps” and “wobblies” on multiple occasions.

The new allegations were made by one of Britain’s most decorated para-cyclists, Darren Kenny, who said that Sutton never considered him or his colleagues as “elite athletes”.

“The term used to refer to us was generally ‘gimps’ with another word in front of that. I don’t think we were considered to be elite athletes in all honesty by certain people and since I’ve left I’ve not seen or heard of any change towards equality,” Kenny told the Daily Mail.

The paper also quotes another source who worked closely with Sutton who said:

(Paralympic athletes) were referred to as ‘wobblies’. It was an in-joke used to describe para-cyclists.”

Sutton, 58, who helped coach the likes of Bradley Wiggins and Chris Hoy to Olympic golds before taking on the top job in British cycling two years ago, denies all allegations.

However, the accusations have prompted British cycling to announce two separate investigations.

The first will be an independent review to examine Varnish’s specific claims that Sutton told her she was “too old” and “should just move on and go and have a baby.”

The second will focus on Sutton’s conduct in general.

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‘Go and have a baby’ – British Cycling launches investigation after sexism claims

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About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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