Rio Olympics 2016: Sir Bradley Wiggins says Shane Sutton has 'right to return'

Sir Bradley Wiggins believes former British Cycling technical director Shane Sutton will be cleared over allegations of discrimination.

Sutton resigned ahead of the Rio Olympics amid allegations of sexism.

Wiggins said it was Sutton's influence that pushed him to return to track cycling in Rio, where he became the first Briton to win eight Olympic medals with gold in the team pursuit.

He added: "I know Shane better than anyone and I believe he'll be cleared."

Why did Sutton resign?

Sutton was initially suspended by British Cycling after bullying allegations from cyclist Jess Varnish, while more allegations followed from other athletes, including Para-cyclist Darren Kenny.

British Cycling formed an independent review to investigate the claims before Sutton stepped down in April.

Can he return to British Cycling?

Wiggins thinks Sutton will come back into the British Cycling fold if cleared.

"I spoke to him two weeks ago and he said his life is pretty empty without this. I think he has the right to (return). Why not?" Wiggins said.

"I don't want to dismiss the claims that have been made by certain people, but I understand more than anyone that there are two sides to every story.

"I think the tone of how some things are said can be skewed quite a bit as well.

"There are two ways you can take (something) on board when someone says something. And how it's written isn't necessarily how it's said."

Sutton's achievements

Sutton had been involved with British Cycling for 14 years, helping them to a record haul of medals at London 2012 with eight golds, two silvers and two bronze.

Wiggins worked with Sutton during his 2012 Tour de France victory, and credits the Australian with helping him win five Olympic gold medals.

"I came back to the track squad because he was in charge," Wiggins said.

"He encouraged me to come back and I probably wouldn't have come back had it been somebody else in charge 18 months ago."

And he believes it is Sutton's work up until his resignation that has seen seven cycling medals for Team GB - so far - in Rio.

"All this stuff is a result of his work. He was in charge of it," he said.

Shane Sutton and Bradley Wiggins
Shane Sutton worked with Bradley Wiggins ahead of his 2012 Tour de France victory

Does British Cycling have a problem?

Last week Varnish said she would "not recommend" anyone joining British Cycling due to "cracks" in its culture, citing sexism.

But Wiggins said: "This whole sexism thing, I'd never, ever seen any sign of that, really.

"I think there's a lot of bitter people that didn't make the grade, got the boot and they have now come out picking holes in things.

"I think for every one of those there's equally successful people - the Laura Trotts of this world and Becky James - that have been successful.

"If my daughter wanted to get into cycling, which she does, would I be happy for her to go into British Cycling now? I 100% would be."

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