Norwegian junior rider Susanne Andersen was hit by a police car at the World Championships in Qatar, the Norwegian federation has confirmed. Andersen, who rides for trade team Hitec Products, was struck by the vehicle while riding back to the team hotel from the junior women's time trial.
Andersen's accident was made public at the time but Director of Sport Hans Falk said that the Federation deliberately remained quiet on the precise details of the incident after fears that Andersen would not be allowed out of the country while the case progressed. Instead, they chose to wait until Andersen had left at the end of the competition.
"We were encouraged not to report the case to the police, and told that [if we did] we would not then be allowed out of the country. We thought it was best that Susanne came home," he explained to Norwegian broadcaster TV2.
Fortunately for Andersen, she came off better than her bike, which was destroyed, and still managed to take bronze a few days later in the road race. Now safely back in Norway, Falk has said that not only was it a police officer but he believes that it was a deliberate act by the officer in question. When TV2 questioned his assertion, stating that there is little evidence to support his claims, Falk reiterated his belief.
"I am convinced that it was a deliberate action by the policeman who drove right into Susanne," he said. "I cannot say for sure, but there were no skid marks, and he showed no empathy. Instead he lit a cigarette and talked on the phone oblivious to the girl who was lying on the ground and screaming."
TV2 contacted the UCI with regards to the incident. They said, "The situation was handled at the time, and reported on to the public authorities via the local organizing committee."
There has been no response from the Qatari authorities.