UCI responds to Rabobank withdrawal



The International Cycling Union (UCI) has issued a communiqué following the announcement of Rabobank's withdrawal from professional cycling. The governing body said that it "acknowledged" the Dutch bank's decision, and evoked yesterday's opening of disciplinary proceedings against one of the team's riders, Carlos Barredo, as a possible reason for Friday's announcement.

"In light of the difficult period, namely the high public interest in past doping issues and perhaps a more recent action taken by the UCI against a rider of the team, the UCI understands the context which has led to this decision being reached," it stated.

Meanwhile, Rabobank's main reason for ending its sponsorship of the professional men's and women's teams were the allegations made in the USADA report about the UCI's complicity in US Postal's doping scheme. "The report shows that the international cycling world is flawed. Doping is supported even within the highest institutions of the cycling world. Our conclusion is thus that there is no way out of it, which is why we have decided to stop supporting the professional teams," said Rabobank financial director Bert Bruggink in a press conference on Friday morning.

The UCI press office did not seek to defend itself against these allegations directly, stating instead, "Despite inevitable and sometimes painful consequences, the UCI reaffirms its commitment to the fight against doping and full transparency about potential anti-doping rule violations."

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