Cervelo-Bigla implement welfare measures after abuse allegations

Conflict resolution service said to go beyond UCI's Code of Ethics

After recent allegations of abuse, Cervelo-Bigla will implement measures that go beyond the UCI's Code of Ethics, including an anonymous conflict resolution service from a qualified lawyer.

The team was struck by controversy just over two weeks ago when several former riders went public with complaints over the conduct of team manager Thomas Campana, who was said to have bullied, intimidated, and fat-shamed riders. Campana denies the allegations.

The UCI recently made updates to its Code of Ethics, effective from 1 November 2018, including 'anonymity of plaintiff' to protect victims, and dedicated reporting channels for filing complaints.

Iris Slappendel and nine other former Bigla riders had originally taken their complaints about Campana to the UCI in 2016 but half withdrew when they found out that their names would not be anonymous and that they would be public knowledge to Campana.

The Bigla team issued a statement on Saturday welcoming the changes to the UCI's Code of Ethics and announcing their own new measures.

"From 1 January 2019, the team will be offering a mediation and conflict management service provided by an independent Swiss Bar Association-accredited party. A trained female lawyer will be available to all riders and staff to provide advice and conflict resolution services if the need arises," read the statement. 

"Any enquiries or potential complaints will be handled anonymously, and the costs of this service will be borne by the team. In so doing, Team Bigla is currently the first and only UCI women's squad in the world to implement such measures."

The team also vowed to hold an "educational seminar", in collaboration with rider's union, the CPA, for riders and staff at their first pre-season team meeting this month in order to "further underline the importance of the UCI's new ethics code".

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