British Cycling technical director Shane Sutton has resigned amid claims of sexism and discrimination towards elite cyclists.
He had been suspended while the sporting body investigated allegations of derogatory comments about Para-cyclists.
Great Britain cyclist Jess Varnish previously said Sutton made sexist comments towards her and told her to “go and have a baby”.
Sutton “rejects the specific claims”.
In a statement, the 58-year-old Australian said the allegations against him had “become a distraction” to British athletes and that he decided to step down “in the best interests of British Cycling”.
His resignation comes on the day Great Britain’s athletes start their 100-day countdown to the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Sutton said: “It is important that the review announced by British Cycling and UK Sport now takes place, and I will obviously co-operate fully with this.
“I have made clear that I reject the specific claims that have been made against me in recent days, and I look forward to taking a full part in the review process so I can respond to the allegations in detail.”
British Cycling chief executive Ian Drake added that programmes director Andy Harrison would take over and thanked Sutton for “his work with British Cycling and the part he has played in our success”.
“I understand and respect Shane’s decision to stand down. His primary focus has always been the athletes, and this decision is something he has taken to allow them to focus on their preparation for Rio,” said Drake.
Varnish, 25, who was dropped from the GB team after failing to qualify for Rio, said she spoke out against Sutton in order to change attitudes at British Cycling.
Sutton, who has been a GB coach since 2002, denies Varnish’s claims, which include his having made a sexist comment about her body shape.
He said that Varnish’s contract was not renewed because her times had slowed over the past three years and she was unlikely to win a medal, saying she was “not up to the job”.
“There was never any talk of babies,” he told The Times.
He insisted he had never used the terminology “you’ve got a fat arse”, adding: “I’m just really upset she would say that.”
British Cycling had already begun an “independent review” into its performance programmes following Varnish’s comments.
It then began an investigation and suspended Sutton on Wednesday after Darren Kenny, one …read more
Source:: BBC UK