Jess Varnish: Rider 'wouldn't recommend' joining British Cycling before change

Jess Varnish
Jess Varnish and Katy Marchant finished fifth in the team sprint at the World Championships in March

World Championship medallist Jess Varnish says she "wouldn't recommend" joining British Cycling because of "cracks" in its culture.

The 25-year-old was dropped from the Great Britain squad in April after finishing fifth in the team sprint at the World Championships.

She then said she had been the victim of sexist remarks from former technical director Shane Sutton.

"I don't think it's good for a human being," she told BBC Radio 5 live.

Varnish's initial allegations are being investigated by British Cycling, which is undertaking a wider review into "fundamental behavioural issues" in its World Class Programme.

A third inquiry has also begun into claims official British Cycling kit was available to buy online.

Varnish added: "They're an incredible, successful team but it doesn't mean there's not cracks.

"If I had a younger sister that was going into that team, I would want to protect her from that."

At the time of her demotion, Varnish said she was "shining a light" on her experiences, so "the relevant people can investigate and make changes".

She turned down the opportunity to appeal against her omission from the Rio Olympics team, saying it would be "pointless to do so".

Australian Sutton resigned in the wake of Varnish's claims in April, but the 59-year-old has denied allegations of sexism and of using derogatory language towards Para-cyclists.

Speaking to the media for the first time since going public, Varnish said: "I've not had a single sleepless night because I can put my head on that pillow and know I'm doing exactly what's right and what's fair.

"I'm just standing up for myself and a lot of other athletes who have unfortunately been in the same situation."

The findings of British Cycling's reviews are expected to be announced after the Rio Olympics.

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