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Volume 7 No. 149

Leagues and Governing Bodies

Jess Varnish
Photo: getty images

Olympic cyclist Jess Varnish's employment case against British Cycling and UK Sport "received a blow" when the tribunal was told Dr. Richard Freeman "was unlikely to turn up to give evidence," according to Matt Lawton of the London DAILY MAIL. The former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor "is one of four witnesses that Varnish's legal team had hoped to call" at the Manchester Employment Tribunal this week. It is understood "he was going to support her claim" that British Cycling exerted high levels of control over her life while part of the Olympic team. His written statement "is part of her submission to the tribunal." But for that statement to "carry any weight" in Judge Ross's deliberations on this "potentially landmark case for British athletes' employment status," Freeman "must make himself available for cross-examination." Wednesday's session opened with Varnish's lawyer, David Reade, telling Ross that "the latest communication" was that Freeman would not be attending. British Cycling's "combative barrister," Thomas Linden, said that this "came as news to him" but "not a complete surprise" (DAILY MAIL, 12/12).