Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 215 total)
  • Jess Varnish
  • Premier Icon ratherbeintobago
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    Wonder what exactly has gone on? Here

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg
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    Sutton’s not exactly known for his tact

    Premier Icon andylaightscat
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    hasn’t improved her times in 4 years, in Suttons opinion not likely to improve so bye bye 🙁

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
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    Perfectly fair decision to drop her. Whether BC’s program was right or wrong in the squads they used at qualifying events is not material now, you don’t get an Olympic spot to say ‘sorry’, and they felt she wasn’t a contender.

    Equally as her other half is also on BC, it’s fair to have a discussion with them about it to explain the decision and make it impersonal. You don’t want ‘marital discontent’ boiling over into work.

    As for these comments here. He’s a blunt aussie for sure but I’d make the point there is no context and only one side without which I don’t think you can judge.

    Whataboutery – let’s just imagine for instance that she had put on her career plan that she wanted to be around for the Olympics in 2016 and then retire and start a family. Would it be therefore unreasonable in that context to tell her she isn’t in the team so she was now free to ‘go have a baby’.

    As for the ‘ass’ comment. Factual doesn’t mean sexist. Shane Sutton would probably say the same about my ass. And my legs, gut, lungs…..

    Premier Icon reggiegasket
    Free Member

    looks like they haven’t qualified, and they are looking to attribute a reason for this to an external source, rather than themselves, which is common in people when they fail. It’s called locus of control.

    Premier Icon twistedpencil
    Full Member

    Not sure BC are firing on all cylinders at the moment, their selection policies for qualifying for events have been erratic showing a lack of understanding of how the systems work, and then there is the lack of understanding of how some events work.

    They have a blinkered podium view which removes opportunities for people to compete at the highest level and removes role models for junior riders. Female cyclists seem to have suffered the most from this. Other nations will max out there quotas for events. Watch the Aussies this summer….

    As for what has come out in recent years with biographies etc, any business would have investigated Sutton a long time ago and brought him out of the limelight.

    Premier Icon squealingbrakes
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    But for a split second mistake in the 2012 team sprint, she could well have been an Olympic champion. Must be very frustrating to have missed that once in a lifetime opportunity.

    Premier Icon jamj1974
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    squealingbrakes – Member
    But for a split second mistake in the 2012 team sprint, she could well have been an Olympic champion. Must be very frustrating to have missed that once in a lifetime opportunity.

    Especially when your colleague who made the mistake was so blasé about it that they clearly only cared about their own chances for a medal.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Free Member

    Elite level sport is tough. They missed qualification for Rio and she’ll be 29 at the following Olympics so she’s out.

    As above a very fine margin between home Olympic glory and frustration. IIRC Nicole Cook took up cycling after she failed to win a gold (?) medal at rowing due to team mates

    I smell massive “toys out of pram” strop here.

    Premier Icon n0b0dy0ftheg0at
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    If only she had recording of this meeting where stuff like “go and have a baby” was said.

    How have BC messed her Olympic ambitions up in recent years?

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Free Member

    How have BC messed her Olympic ambitions up in recent years?

    Always somebody else’s fault ?

    BC and Olympic programme are well funded, its your income, your job, your lifestyle. Getting fired is very painful. I know one Olympic Gold medalist (not cycling) who found life quite tough atfter the lottery money stopped and they had to pay their own bills for things out of post tax income after actually having found work. I’m sure Varnish is very upset and her future looks very uncertain. Leaving that elite sport bubble and being back in the “real world” is tough

    Premier Icon mboy
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    Firing someone on performance grounds is totally justifiable. Done fairly, making them aware of their performance expectations and their actual achievements at all times.

    From what I’ve heard from various inside sources, BC aren’t very professional at all in this regard!

    It’s all a bit six of one and half a dozen of the other, but BC have a reputation for their sexist attitudes and not letting athletes know where they stand at all times… With that in mind, I do feel a bit sorry for her.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
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    Nicole Cook talks about BC in her book, most definitely not complimentary.

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago
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    Nicole Cook is meant to be really difficult to work with though?

    Premier Icon andylaightscat
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    read the book and you’ll see there’s plenty of reasons for believing NC rather than BC version

    Premier Icon ghostlymachine
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    Nicole is a pain to deal with, i know a few people who’ve worked with her. Other than her work ethic and performance, there isn’t much nice they have to say about her. She might be fine off the bike and away from the racing. But when she’s got her bike head on. It’s a different matter.

    And rowing? Where the hell did you get that from?
    She’s been at the pointy end of cycling since she was about 13 and world champ at something like 18. Doubt she would have had time to qualify for rowing too.

    Rebecca Romero is the one successful ex rower who became a successful cyclist who immediately springs to mind.

    Premier Icon andylaightscat
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    world class cyclist a bit difficult?? well that’s a surprise 🙄

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
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    read the book and you’ll see there’s plenty of reasons for believing NC rather than BC version

    + 1. If a male was difficult to work with then he would have been tolerated. It was sexism, pure and simple.

    Premier Icon ghostlymachine
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    Nicole Cook talks about BC in her book, most definitely not complimentary

    TBH until very recently BC/BCF was run like an old boys club. It was all down to who you knew and who you hadn’t pissed off. Lots of very good riders have been sidelined due to internal chips on shoulders. (It wasn’t politics or policies, because for the most part, they didn’t have any)
    So Nicole being critical of them isn’t surprising any pro of the last 40 (?) years would probably have something critical to say of them. Unless they were on the inside looking out!

    At least now they have policies and written procedures (or the funding dries up).

    They might not be fair, or very nice, but they at least exist.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Full Member

    Nicole is a pain to deal with, i know a few people who’ve worked with her. Other than her work ethic and performance, there isn’t much nice they have to say about her. She might be fine off the bike and away from the racing. But when she’s got her bike head on. It’s a different matter.

    Would those same words have been said if she wasn’t female? Bike head? Is that a female only thing? Shakes head.

    Premier Icon TiRed
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    <insert name here> is a pain to deal with, i know a few people who’ve worked with them. Other than their work ethic and performance, there isn’t much nice they have to say about them. <insert name here> might be fine away from <insert sport here>. But when they’ve got her <insert sport here> head on. It’s a different matter.

    I thought this was the norm for elite level sport in general. It’s what makes exceptions like Hoy so remarkable.

    Premier Icon twistedpencil
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    Their policies and procedures appear to harm the sport they support, look how they have stuffed mtb xc this Olympic cycle, they are now compromising success in BMX with not taking their full allowance of riders to the worlds, and actually stopping the riders to self fund which they have allowed in the past. Tre Whyte came back with a W3 two years ago, had a bad semi final in the recent SX (welcome to BMX) and has been dropped along with Quillian.

    The is a significant short sightedness to the podium programme, not taking your best riders to the highest level of competition means they are not exposed to it until the are deemed podium contenders…

    Lastly Victoria Pendleton doesn’t paint a rosy picture of Sutton either.

    Premier Icon ghostlymachine
    Free Member

    Would those same words have been said if she wasn’t female? Bike head? Is that a female only thing? Shakes head.

    Are you just seeing sexism everywhere for fun?
    It’s nothing to do with her sex, it’s because she’s been one of the hardest to deal with in the last ~20 years. A lot of the other riders were difficult too. As elite sportspeople can be. It’s just that she’s at one extreme.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
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    Are you just seeing sexism everywhere for fun?

    No of course I’m not. But what stands out for me is that despite BC having Lottery funding and her being World and Olympic Champion they couldn’t even provide her with team kit for the World Championships. Do you think that would happen to Wiggo/Froome/Hoy etc ?

    Premier Icon clodhopper
    Free Member

    “It’s nothing to do with her sex”

    Telling someone to ‘go and have a baby’ has everything to do with her sex.

    “Varnish claimed in the Daily Mail interview that when she questioned the decision to drop her she was told that she was “too old”. She also alleges that she had to listen to a “long list” of comments about her figure.

    “I was told that ‘with an ass like mine I couldn’t change position within the team sprint’,” Varnish said.”

    None of those things would have been applied to a male athlete. End of. Sexism pure and simple, if the allegations are true. That Sutton hasn’t come out and denied making them, suggests Varnish has a case.

    Personally, I’m surprised more stuff hasn’t come out about British Cycling; a ruthless machine wedded to corporate interests, with the sole intention of getting the best results at all costs, in order to promote those corporate interests.

    “TBH until very recently BC/BCF was run like an old boys club. It was all down to who you knew and who you hadn’t pissed off.”

    I concur. My own experience of this didn’t suggest it was a particularly open or egalitarian organisation. Seems the BC have taken those negative elements and added more.

    Premier Icon ghostlymachine
    Free Member

    Clodhopper, you’ve confused comments about Nicole Cook with comments about Jess Varnish.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
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    *Holds up hand, am guilty of derailing thread. 😳

    Premier Icon twistedpencil
    Full Member

    Premier Icon prawny
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    Reading Tyler Hamiltons book I think the ass comments probably aren’t sexist, he and others were told they were too fat often. The ‘go have a baby’ thing though, you can’t say that, even if it is a valid life choice. I started a family when I was her age.

    I’m not a huge fan of Sutton, but I think Jess is coming across as a bit of a sour grapes whinger IMO. They’ve got to make the lottery money go as far as it can, there’s no point paying contracts for people who aren’t going to help future funding. There’s no room for mates in track cycling, there’s just not enough money in it.

    Premier Icon notmyrealname
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    I’m sure Sutton’s a good coach but to me he always comes across as being a bit of a dick.

    This part of the article from the Telegraph a couple of days ago made him sound patronising and a bit sexist to boot

    Sutton said he had spoken with Varnish’s boyfriend Liam Phillips – the 2013 BMX world champion who is in excellent form and has high hopes for Rio this summer – in an effort to defuse any tension. “I had a long chat with him,” Sutton said, “to try to make him understand that we don’t take these decisions lightly. It wasn’t as though we ‘got rid’ of Jess. It’s just that [her contract] was up for renewal and we didn’t renew it.”

    Premier Icon atlaz
    Free Member

    TBH, every single successful national track program (and I bet athletics etc) seems to have treated a lot of athletes as interchangeable parts. Not good enough in our opinion and off you go, irrespective of whether you ARE good enough or not; see what Scott Mcgrory said about the Australian system for example.

    That said if he told her to go and have kids, he needs sorting out. She may want kids or she may not but it’s patronising in the extreme to suggest all she has to offer is cycling or babies.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Full Member

    As I said at the top of the thread, that quote must be seen in context before it can be judged. I’ve given one possible / theoretical context that would be different to the comment in isolation, for example. You could think up others that would be extremely damning and I’d be the first to condemn.

    I’m not saying Sutton’s choice of words may not have been ill-advised, even if it was in the right context I’d be extremely cautious of that sort of comment. Just that it can’t automatically be seen as a sexist* comment.

    * technicality; of course suggesting someone is now free to have a child has to be by definition a comment directed at a woman and therefore differentiates by sex, but you know what I mean, let’s not split hairs. Sensible folks will know what a sexist comment really is.

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg
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    It’s certainly taken the shine off Varnish’s career

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Full Member

    Displays a distinct lacquer commitment.

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg
    Full Member

    She was probably hoping for a smoother finish

    Premier Icon lunge
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    There’s 2 parts to this IMO.
    1. Is not renewing her contract unfair? Jess was deemed to be not good enough, this IMO is not unfair, she’s never quite been at the very top of the sport and if they didn’t feel she was a medal hope and they don’t see her improving over the next 4 years then not renewing her contract is reasonable. BC is a medal machine and they are, and indeed have to be, brutal about how they manage the athletes.
    2. Was it well handled? No, seems to be the easy answer but I don’t think it quite as bad as Jess has made it sound. She got dropped, that understandably annoyed her. Sutton talked to her boyfriend, given he too is part of the BC team and someone who is a genuine medal hope I can understand that conversation happening. The “go and have a baby” comment is not good but we don’t know the context and as has been mentioned above, if her plan was to do Rio and then have a family then saying to her “you’re not going to Rio so go and have a baby” is not that unreasonable, not overly tactful but not as bad as it could be.

    So my view is that a hugely competitive and driven athlete is very annoyed by a coaching team with very high standards who don’t think she meets them. I also think Shane Sutton is as subtle as a sledgehammer but again, that is no surprise to anyone.

    Premier Icon mikey3
    Free Member

    Nicole cookE was a 100% focused born winner,i’d imagine lots of that type are hard work,maybe they need a certain amount of bloody mindedness and not suffer fools to make the most of themselves,and at the end of the day I,m sure the people who said they didn’t like her would have half of the career she had in a heartbeat.

    Premier Icon chakaping
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    BC will no doubt hope to gloss over the whole business.

    Premier Icon edhornby
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    Or sweep it under the matt

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Full Member

    I like Shane Sutton a lot – but I can totally imagine him saying that. And possibly in a well-meaning way.

    He’s a bit like Ronseal when you think about it: Does what it says on the tin.

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