Resignation or Dismissal for Bisceglia? Dispute at USAC

By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor

A day after it was announced that Gerard Bisceglia was no longer serving as CEO of USA Cycling, questions as to how this came about are still prevalent. Cyclingnews spoke with Bisceglia on Wednesday morning about what happened on Tuesday. "I was dismissed," Bisceglia replied. "No cause given."

When asked about the annual review that board member Mark Abramson said immediately preceded his 'resignation,' Bisceglia said, "I didn't get a review. There was no review ever given to me."

Cyclingnews contacted USA Cycling board president Jim Ochowicz on Wednesday to ask if Bisceglia resigned or was dismissed as he contends. "There was no decision, Gerard resigned from USA Cycling," Ochowicz clearly stated. "He signed a letter or resignation." When asked about the findings of the annual review that seems to be at the center of Bisceglia's departure, Ochowicz replied, "The finding [of the annual review] is not public information." As to whether or not the findings of the review prompted the board to ask for his resignation, he continued, "That is not public information, that is confidential for Gerard and USA Cycling."

A lot of tension has been present between Bisceglia and Ochowicz since the two disagreed over Ochowicz's outside consulting employment with BMC and the Swiss Phonak team. Even though the board eventually absolved Ochowicz of being in a conflict of interest, Bisceglia remained uncomfortable with the arrangement. "The discussion about my relationship with BMC has already run it's full course," said Ochowicz.

"I was working on bringing credibility back to the organization," said Bisceglia. "We had ceased to be relevant. I thought we were making considerable progress." He cited that the board itself was too separated from the interests of the members. "The interesting thing is that there are two groups. Fifty-five thousand are cyclists and then there is a small group called the board, and they don't serve one another at all. The foundation and USPRO is on the board, and who knows how they get elected?"

Bisceglia reflected that his focus on serving the members more than the board was what ultimately led to his end. "The biggest conflict I had with the board is that I am nobody's man. I was working for the organization and not individuals. We have fifty-five thousand members, and only 1,500 vote. And that's what you get. [My removal] is an example of how the board and membership are totally disconnected."

As for now, Bisceglia is unsure if he will pursue any type of legal action against USA Cycling regarding how his employment ended. "I don't know - I'm still considering my options. I really don't know, it came as a shock. I need to evaluate my feelings, and I don't think much is accomplished through bitterness." In the mean time, he returns to where he was four years ago when Ochowicz hired him as CEO. "I was retired when I took this job because I thought it would be fun. I had a marvelous time. It was the most fun four years of work. It was great to go from event to event and see people's passion for the sport."

Also see: USA Cycling names Gerard Bisceglia CEO (June 2002)

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