UK Sport’s lead lawyer, Joe McMorrow, said it had been a “crucial moment” in British sporting history. He also described it as a “win for athletes”.
“I think had it gone the other way, athletes really might have suffered,” McMorrow told The Daily Telegraph. “Had there been a review of the system of funding it could have resulted in reduced funding or fewer athletes being funded because extra costs such as admin and HR would have to be taken into account. NGBs are working from a fixed budget. I would absolutely describe this as a win for athletes.”
McMorrow described the ruling as “extremely robust”, saying he did not anticipate an appeal from Varnish. “If I was looking at it from the Claimant’s point of view, I would consider it unappealable.”
Asked whether she might pursue other avenues, he added: “The decision has been made now. If a claim were to be raised elsewhere on the same facts it should be turned away because the decision has already been made.”
UK Sport said in a statement that the judge’s decision gave it “reassurance” that its funding system was working as intended. It added: “We will reflect on the concerns that were raised through this case when finalising our future strategy for post Tokyo. We regret for Jessica Varnish, her partner and her family that pursuing this case was considered the best course of action she had to address the concerns she felt she experienced as an athlete on the British Cycling World Class Programme.”