Shane Sutton Inquiry - as clear as mud?

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Geoff.D
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Joined: 12 Mar 2010, 9:20pm

Shane Sutton Inquiry - as clear as mud?

Postby Geoff.D » 8 Dec 2016, 5:19pm

I wonder if anyone else has been left as unsure (as to the meaning of the declared outcome) as I am.

Without opening any debate about sexism, I'm left with a feeling that there's a lack of clarity in the wording of the documents published in the last day or two. The Inquiry was to ascertain *on the balance of probabilities" whether the specific allegations made by Jess Varnish were to be "upheld or not"

8 out of 9 allegations were "not upheld". Does this mean that they were found to be untrue; or that any evidence corroborating them was found to be untrue; or that the allegations and refutations balanced each other out in truthfulness/untruthfulness, such that "the balance of probabilities" just couldn't be determined one way or another.

Does "not upheld" mean the same as "untrue"? (and vice-versa?)

One thing's for sure. It looks like the lawyers are going to be employed for a while longer!!

thirdcrank
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Re: Shane Sutton Inquiry - as clear as mud?

Postby thirdcrank » 8 Dec 2016, 5:45pm

The balance of probabilities is the normal standard of proof in civil cases eg where one party is suing another - and the court or tribunal must decide in favour of one or the other. That compares with the criminal standard where the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.

In the briefest terms, I think it means "Is it more likely or not?"

tanglewood
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Re: Shane Sutton Inquiry - as clear as mud?

Postby tanglewood » 8 Dec 2016, 11:00pm

Yes, the inquiry found that in 8 out of 9 cases the allegations were more likely to be untrue than true. If a criminal case, obviously nowhere near a conviction and innocent of those 8 allegations. On the 9th, more likely to be true than untrue, and who knows if that is beyond reasonable doubt.


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landsurfer
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Location: Rotherham

Re: Shane Sutton Inquiry - as clear as mud?

Postby landsurfer » 8 Dec 2016, 11:06pm

So we have lost possibly the best cycling coach currently available for nothing ....
I hope Jess feels it was worth it ... Jess, not the lawyers pursuing fees behind her ...
Oh, and an excellent sprinter as well, i'm disappointed she does not seem to be carrying on with her cycling career..
She had skills ... has skills ...
Ulster will fight, and Ulster will be right ... Carson.
The Road Goes On Forever ...

Geoff.D
Posts: 1959
Joined: 12 Mar 2010, 9:20pm

Re: Shane Sutton Inquiry - as clear as mud?

Postby Geoff.D » 9 Dec 2016, 8:37am

I did realise that the outcomes actually meant "more likely to be" true or untrue. But my point is about the choosing of this standard of proof ("the balance of probabilities") in the first place. It was bound to leave ambiguities.

SS knows what he said and didn't say. I can understand that he feels aggrieved that the 8/9 allegations, of which he knows he is innocent, still has an ambiguity attached. Likewise, JS will be similarly frustrated that those 8/9 allegations, which she feels sure are true, have the same ambiguity (with the implication that she has lied).

Both have expressed their dissatisfaction with this state of affairs , and say that they will pursue it further, presumably to get unambiguous statements of their personal integrity. By choosing this standard of proof, the Inquiry gave itself some wriggle room, but left the protagonists in no-man's land. It also prolongs the turmoil for the governing body.

Least importantly, it leaves bystanders (me) wondering where the truth lies, in what appears to be a continuing soap opera script involving personality clash; rival camps; thwarted ambition; flight from the scene of the crime; amateurish police detection; threats to see each other in court and solicitors writing out large invoices.

thirdcrank
Posts: 28648
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Shane Sutton Inquiry - as clear as mud?

Postby thirdcrank » 9 Dec 2016, 9:42am

AFAIK, balance of probability is the normal standard for things like employment disputes.

As for being left with doubts, the whole point is that it eliminates them from the decision: in a criminal trial, any reasonable doubts must result in acquittal. It would be possible for a suspect to admit an offence and be filmed committing it, only for doubts about the way the admission was obtained or the circumstances of the filming to introduce a doubt. A criminal trial is looking for "guilt" rather than whodunnit.

With balance of probability, any doubts must be resolved one way or the other.

That one side or both may be dissatisfied with the result is a feature of both systems.

I think that what you may be dissatisfied about is the amount of, or lack of evidence on which to make a decision. Reading between the lines, there's some agreement that he's been a "plain speaker." An investigation might look for evidence from witnesses of his general behaviour as to whether he used the type of sexist language complained of. If "bitch" has been one of his well-known expressions, that would be the evidence. If witnesses referred to a general abrasiveness, call it what you will, which seems to be a common trait among successful coaches, but no examples of its being expressed in sexist terms, that might be persuasive in the other direction. Obviously this is only speculation.

Geoff.D
Posts: 1959
Joined: 12 Mar 2010, 9:20pm

Re: Shane Sutton Inquiry - as clear as mud?

Postby Geoff.D » 9 Dec 2016, 5:03pm

thirdcrank wrote:I think that what you may be dissatisfied about is the amount of, or lack of evidence on which to make a decision.


You're right, thirdcrank. I've been anticipating the result of the Inquiry, expecting a definitive declaration one way or the other. I'm disappointed with the ambiguity.

For SS and JV, they each have their personal integrity still in question (more so JV than SS)

landsurfer
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Location: Rotherham

Re: Shane Sutton Inquiry - as clear as mud?

Postby landsurfer » 9 Dec 2016, 5:15pm

Geoff.D wrote:For SS and JV, they each have their personal integrity still in question (more so JV than SS)


And if SS becomes the next Australia coach her position worsens, without doing anything.
Has she retired as a result of this ??

She gave this quote to the press 2 days ago "She said she has instructed her solicitor to appeal the decision after providing “substantial evidence” to back up her claims. "
Maybe she should have presented this "substantial evidence " at the inquiry ????
Ulster will fight, and Ulster will be right ... Carson.
The Road Goes On Forever ...

thirdcrank
Posts: 28648
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Shane Sutton Inquiry - as clear as mud?

Postby thirdcrank » 9 Dec 2016, 6:06pm

Geoff.D

If there's an unwitnessed interaction between two people, how can anyone decide with the total certainty you seek?

I have to say that I have more experience of the criminal standard of proof but a well-publicised example of a balance-of-probability judgment might be the libel trial in the so-called Plebgate affair when Mr Justice Mitting had to decide between the conflicting accounts of a cabinet minister and a police constable. Here's a media report which includes the judge's reasons for his judgment which had to go one way or the other: no possibility of "can't decide."

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... libel-case

Geoff.D
Posts: 1959
Joined: 12 Mar 2010, 9:20pm

Re: Shane Sutton Inquiry - as clear as mud?

Postby Geoff.D » 10 Dec 2016, 10:16am

thirdcrank wrote:If there's an unwitnessed interaction between two people, how can anyone decide with the total certainty you seek?
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... libel-case


Thanks for the link, thirdcrank. It's helped me accommodate the concept "in the balance of probabilities", and not expect total certainty.

I always imagined (my mistake, in hindsight) that JV would have corroborative evidence (witness) that such things had been said. It didn't cross my mind one iota that anyone would go public, in such a high profile situation, without corroboration. It would seem, at this stage, that she didn't have it.

But, I imagine it's not the end of the saga, one way or another.