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UCI Ethics Committee to explore options in wake of Geniez sentencing

Tre Valli Varesine 2021 -100th Edition - Busto Arsizio - Varese 196,7 km - 05/10/2021 - Alexandre Geniez (FRA - Team TotalEnergies) - photo Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2021
Alexandre Geniez (TotalEnergies) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

In the wake of TotalEnergies rider Alexandre Geniez being handed down a suspended four-month prison sentence for domestic violence, the UCI has confirmed that their Ethics Committee will explore its options on any further action to be taken against the Frenchman.

On Wednesday, Geniez was handed a four-months suspended sentence in Rodez court for domestic violence against his ex-wife Lucie Garrigues. Prosecutors had initially asked for a six-month sentence for Geniez following a series of violent incidents and threats against Garrigues.

Geniez's team TotalEnergies has so far not responded to messages from Cyclingnews, while other media outlets have also reported the same lack of response from the team.

The UCI told Cyclingnews on Wednesday that the governing body had not been made aware of the proceedings against Geniez but added that the case would fall under the jurisdiction of the UCI's Ethics Committee.

"The UCI had not previously been made aware of the criminal proceedings against Mr Geniez," the UCI wrote to Cyclingnews. "As this is a matter that would fall under the jurisdiction of the UCI Ethics Commission pursuant to Appendix 1 of the UCI Code of Ethics, we will draw their attention to the decision from the French court.

"The Ethics Commission will consider whether to ask for the production of documentation with a view to opening disciplinary proceedings."

Appendix 1 of the UCI Code of Ethics (opens in new tab) outlines several examples of 'forbidden conduct', including psychological and physical abuse, and sexual harassment and abuse. All officials, license holders, organisers and staff are bound by the Code, which 'applies to conduct that damages the integrity and reputation of cycling, and in particular to illegal, immoral and unethical behaviour'.

Should the Ethics Committee conduct an investigation and find the party guilty of breaching any aspects of the Code, the Committee has the power to implement a range of sanctions. These include, but are not limited to, reprimands, educational measures, the return of awards, suspension from the cycling-related activity, and fines of up to CHF1,000,000.

Garrigues initially reported Geniez's actions to police in Rodez in mid-November last year, describing ongoing domestic abuse dating back to February 2020. The court case was ongoing from an initial hearing in January before its conclusion on Wednesday.

Geniez, who is set to retire at the end of 2022, has continued racing as the court case was ongoing, winning two stages at last month's Tour du Rwanda and finishing eighth at the Saudi Tour.

Cyclingnews has once again contacted TotalEnergies for comment.

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Daniel Ostanek is production editor at Cyclingnews, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later being hired as staff writer. Before Cyclingnews, he was published in numerous publications around the cycling world, including Procycling, CyclingWeekly, CyclingTips, Cyclist, and Rouleur, among others. As well as reporting and writing news and features, Daniel runs the 'How to watch' content throughout the season.

Daniel has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France, and has interviewed a number of the sport's biggest stars, including Egan Bernal, Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel, Mark Cavendish, and Anna van der Breggen. Daniel rides a 2002 Landbouwkrediet Colnago C40 and his favourite races are Strade Bianche and the Vuelta a España.