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The Cyclists’ Alliance: UCI changes over abuse complaints will lead to equitable process

Logo for the Cyclists' Alliance
The Cyclists' Alliance, a foundation formed in 2017 to provide support for female cyclists (Image credit: The Cyclists Alliance)

The Cyclists Alliance (TCA) has welcomed new UCI measures designed to more effectively prevent and sanction abuse as a change that will benefit riders, with a more equitable process delivered by the steps which include an obligation to inform complainants and ability for the Ethics Commission to sanction riders without having to refer cases to the UCI Disciplinary Commission.

The women’s cyclists association, which has supported multiple riders in the process of filing complaints at the UCI Ethics Commission, had put together a report with recommendations on how to improve the procedure and, together with the Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (CPA), met with the sports governing body to discuss the issue. 

“Whilst not all TCA recommendations were adopted, we recognise the progress made with these changes and the adjusted Ethics code,” said the Cyclists Alliance in a statement

“We appreciate the UCI’s willingness to review and adopt ... these changes and for the collaborative approach taken to this by the UCI and the CPA.”

The changes came after Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport manager Marc Bracke was found to have violated the Code of Ethics last October. However, he was allowed to continue managing the team until the spring. Bracke didn’t direct the team at the Flanders Classics events after race organisers requested he not attend but months went by without a Disciplinary Commission decision or formal sanction.

The new provisions go beyond granting the Ethics Committee the authority to impose disciplinary sanctions and the obligation to keep complainants informed. They also include the ability to impose provisional measures, allowing for the suspension of an alleged perpetrator while a case is being investigated, and the appointment of an integrity and education manager to manage the reporting system for harassment and abuse as well as to act as reference person for concerned parties. 

Another measure the TCA said it had recommended were parameters around the timing of communication towards the parties, the victim and any press releases.

“This has not been adopted, however the UCI has acknowledged the need for improvement in this regard and we are hopeful that the above changes should result in shorter timelines for cases,” said the TCA.