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Lotto Dstny sports director Allan Davis fired after sending "inappropriate" messages to women

The former professional rider apologised for "inappropriate" behaviour when it emerged he had sent unwanted messages and photos to women...

Disgraced sports director Allan Davis has been fired from his role with Lotto Dstny after he admitted his "inappropriate words and actions" in messaging women online.

Davis, who won the Tour Down Under and finished second at Milan-San Remo during his 14-year professional career, was removed from Lotto Dstny's Tour de France coaching team after the allegations came to light in June, a female Twitter user telling road.cc that several other women had contacted her with details of similar behaviour towards them from Davis on social media.

Following the publication of the allegations, screenshots of messages and pictures, Davis apologised and admitted "that at times my words and actions were inappropriate".

> Lotto Dstny sports director Allan Davis apologises for inappropriate behaviour online after not travelling with team to Tour de France

Now, the team has cut ties with him permanently, Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws this morning reporting he has been fired, news confirmed to road.cc by a source. This afternoon, as the reports spread through the media, Davis' now former team confirmed his employment was "recently terminated".

Speculation had grown about Davis' departure from the team, his name removed from the UCI website where the rest of Lotto Dstny's sports directors are listed.

Davis was reportedly let go by the team on 10th August, three days after another woman wrote to both Lotto Dstny and the UCI with further allegations of inappropriate online behaviour by the Australian, a source told road.cc.

We have contacted Lotto Dstny for more information and clarification around the timing of Davis' dismissal but had not heard back at the time of publication. This afternoon they released the following statement.

Allan Davis is no longer employed at Lotto Dstny. The collaboration with the Australian sports director was recently terminated.

Just before the Tour de France, Davis was hit by a personal affair. The team decided not to take him to the Tour to keep the peace, but did start an internal investigation into accusations regarding transgressive behaviour.

"Without going into details, it has been decided to stop the collaboration with Allan," says CEO Stephane Heulot. "Lotto Dstny has its own values and standards which we apply in our daily work and in the team. We have a line that we do not deviate from and we require our employees to adhere to it. We prioritise the well-being and integrity of our team and a further collaboration was therefore impossible."

In the meantime, the other sports directors are taking over Allan Davis' duties and a solution is being sought for next season.

Neither the team nor its employees will make any further comments on this statement.

Commenting at the time of Davis' omission from the team's Tour plans, a Lotto Dstny spokesperson told road.cc it is "a personal case" that "has nothing to do with the team".

During the race, the disgraced sports director released a statement saying he regrets "the way I conducted myself and the impact it had on the person involved".

"I acknowledge that our multiple direct-messaging interactions in May and June of 2023 touched upon both personal and professional matters. We discussed topics related to relationships, family and work, and I understand that at times my words and actions were inappropriate. I failed to consider the consequences of my behaviour, and for that, I am truly sorry.

"There have been reports that I have engaged with other Twitter users in an 'unsolicited' manner. This is true, as over the past 15 years I have often sent direct messages to new male and female followers to thank them for following my Twitter account. This is the nature of social media, and a common practice of influencers and content creators on different social media platforms with the purpose of engaging with ones' followership base.

"By being active on Twitter and posting regular content I had built a followership base of over 27,000 followers from around the world. I frequently engaged in direct messages with male and female followers.

"These engagements via direct message spanned over a period of more than fifteen years, including my period as a professional athlete and in a self-employed capacity. Some of these interactions involved the discussion of personal topics, and in a number of cases the establishment of friendships and coaching relationships.

"I have reflected on my behaviour and have taken steps to educate myself about appropriate online conduct. I understand the importance of fostering a respectful and inclusive environment, both online and offline. Again, I sincerely apologise for my transgressions and any distress or discomfort this may have caused the persons involved."

The story first came to our attention when road.cc was sent screenshots of direct messages between a female Twitter user and Davis.

According to the woman, Davis followed her and then messaged her on the social media app, which she believed was related to a possible job opportunity at the team.

"Allan messaged me, and he asked for a selfie pretty quickly," she tells road.cc. "He played the game of 'I think I know you'. I gave him the benefit of the doubt."

Allan Davis screenshots

After she changed the conversation to focus on her attempts to find work within the cycling industry, Davis allegedly said he could grant her access to the team, and asked for her CV in case "a potential job opportunity comes up for you on our end".

"He knows I'm looking for a job, I'm pushing that into the conversation, he's asking other stuff that's not relevant," she told road.cc. She then claimed that Davis later sent her a second topless photo, a screenshot of which was posted on Twitter this week by the accuser.

 After the accusations were shared online, another prominent cycling-focused Twitter user publicly said that she too had been messaged privately by Davis in March, though she did not respond.

The original accuser also alleged that "at least 30" other women told her of inappropriate behaviour directed at them by Davis, who later apologised for "any distress or discomfort this may have caused the persons involved".

Another message from a different woman, seen by road.cc, noted that Davis also sent her unwanted messages "a few months back" and that such behaviour from the retired sprinter is not new.

"Women are still being intimidated to not talk about their experiences. But how will things change if we say nothing?" the accuser said at the time.

Dan is the road.cc news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined road.cc in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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3 comments

Avatar
Left_is_for_Losers | 9 months ago
0 likes

Difficult times at Loto Dstny it seems, what with the furore around Caleb Ewan as well. 

Avatar
Rendel Harris | 9 months ago
8 likes

Would those persons posting on here, and they know who they are, who when this story first broke left numerous comments attacking the character, morals and motivation of the woman who made the original complaint now care to apologise?

Avatar
SexandtheSwiss replied to Rendel Harris | 9 months ago
5 likes

Rendel Harris wrote:

Would those persons posting on here, and they know who they are, who when this story first broke left numerous comments attacking the character, morals and motivation of the woman who made the original complaint now care to apologise?

I know the answer to that one, never. 

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