Jess Varnish’s lawyer believes the ruling against his client in the recent landmark employment tribunal is “unlikely to stand the test of time”.
Simon Fenton said the decision to class Varnish as self-employed, rather than as an employee or worker at British Cycling, was misguided.
He described British Cycling’s stance against making athletes employees, and their claim that it was in athletes’ best interests, as akin to “Victorian mill owners when faced with new health and safety legislation”.
“Athletes with no rights, no pensions, no holidays or sick pay but it’s good for them. Really?” Fenton said.
Varnish lost her place on British Cycling’s Olympic programme a few months before the 2016 Rio Games. She insists that she was kicked off the track team because she spoke out, making claims of sexism, bullying and discrimination. Her allegations eventually led to the departure of technical director Shane Sutton.