(Reuters) - Double Olympic gold medalist Laura Trott considers British Cycling technical director Shane Sutton’s resignation following a discrimination row a “loss” but does not think it would affect her preparation for the Rio Games.
Sutton, who resigned in April, was suspended by the governing body for allegedly making sexist and discriminatory remarks about rider Jess Varnish and, separately, para-cyclists.
Trott, 24, who won two golds at the world track championships in March, said that although the timing of Sutton’s resignation was not ideal, it was unlikely to disrupt preparations for the Games in August.
”If Rio was happening tomorrow then I’d be freaking out a little bit,“ she told British media. ”(But) all this has happened so close to Rio that everything was already in place.
“Although we’ve lost Shane as our leader, Andy Harrison has stepped in and taken over what was already in place. I don’t think there was much left to do.”
Trott, who was one of the first riders to back Sutton and credits him with boosting her confidence early on in her career, added that she would miss the Australian’s leadership at the velodrome.
“It is a loss and I really took on board a lot of what Shane said, he got me pretty far in my career, he was always helpful to me, always on hand,” she said.
”Before the Melbourne worlds in 2012 he told me, ‘you’re going to win the omnium’.
“I said, ‘What? That’s never going to happen.’ But it was because he believed in me that made me think to myself, maybe I can. That has stuck with me.”
Reporting by Nivedita Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty