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"Rogue director" blamed and role terminated after women's cycling team suspended by UCI for "fraudulent" dressing of mechanic as rider to avoid disqualification

Cynisca Cycling will not be appealing the UCI decision and apologised after an ill rider was replaced by a mechanic in disguise to sign on at a race

The women's cycling team that made headlines across the sporting world this week, after the UCI dished out sanctions including a one-race suspension for the entire team, have blamed its "fraudulent actions", namely dressing a mechanic up as an ill rider to avoid disqualification from a race, on a "rogue director" and said he would not be working with the team in the future.

 In a statement reported by Cyclingnews, Cynisca Cycling accepted the "need for disciplinary action" and blamed a "rogue director" for the "one-time mistake", adding that the team would not be appealing the governing body's decision.

"Cynisca Cycling understands the need for disciplinary action taken by the UCI. The team did not and will never condone this sort of behaviour. This was a one-time mistake by a rogue director," the team said.

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"We thank the UCI Disciplinary Commission for their careful consideration of the actions. On behalf of the team, we once again apologise to the event organisers for the behaviour that occurred at the event. The team looks forward to continuing our mission to advance more women in cycling."

The bizarre incident unfolded at last year's Argenta Classic, a women's one-day race from Ekeren to Deurne in Belgium, when one of the US team's riders, Greta Richioud, came down with illness and was unable to compete. With race officials telling the team that they would not be able to participate without all five riders, DS Danny van Haute told the remaining riders to lie about Richioud's whereabouts and asked team mechanic, Moira Barrett, to wear Richioud's kit and sign on as the fifth member of the team, a plan that would then see Barrett inconspicuously return to her proper role ahead of the race starting.

The UCI accepted that while "the members of the team were therefore all found to have participated in a fraud", "Danny van Haute was found to be the main perpetrator and was sanctioned with a suspension from any activity in cycling until 31 December 2025 as well as a fine".

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Cynisca Cycling stated "at the time of the event, other team management and staff were unaware of the deception" and that "upon learning of the incident, the team took action internally and terminated all current and future relationships with Mr Van Haute and the mechanic".

"The team then fully cooperated with the UCI investigation," Cynisca Cycling said.

Barrett was also sanctioned by the UCI, who said the mechanic had played an "active role in the fraud", and has been suspended from any activity in cycling until 1 September 2024. The entire team's one-race suspension will be served at next month's Vuelta Extremadura Féminas.

Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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5 comments

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dubwise | 1 month ago
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So today's race, Ronde Van Drenthe, Canyon Sram only have 4 riders in it.

The question is why have they not be excluded from the race as Cynisca Cycling were told leading to the stupidity of the now former Director.

Is it the usual?  One rule for the big teams and a different one for the small teams?

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Blackthorne | 1 month ago
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ah the old "Rogue director", that pesky leprechaun. Alas, karma is a sweet thing. Cynisca, the same woke team that booted training director Inga Thompson for having an opinion on transgender males in womens' competition. Don't apologise Cynisca, embrace it. Can't wait until you replace all the women with trans mechanics. just keep an an eye out for the rogue director. 

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don simon fbpe | 1 month ago
2 likes

I'm glad that that's sorted. Who knows what would have happened if the mechanic had gone on to win the race...?

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Sriracha replied to don simon fbpe | 1 month ago
6 likes

They would have been a spanner in the works.

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mark1a replied to Sriracha | 1 month ago
0 likes

👏👏👏

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