UCI director criticizes UK stance in banning Russian athletes from participating in competitions

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) also warned the government's stance

Last Tuesday (25), according to news published by The Times newspaper, the director of the International Cycling Union (UCI), David Lappartient, sent a letter to the Minister of Sport of the United Kingdom, Stuart Andrew, due to rigorous stance that the country has taken on the presence of Russian athletes in the next competitions on the Organization’s calendar.

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The information contained in the letter reports that the UK does not trust enough in the classification carried out by the UCI, to name the Russian and Belarusian athletes as neutral participants for the next World Championships, which will take place next month in Scotland.

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In addition, the message sent to the Minister of Sport, Stuart Andrew, states that the requirements requested by the UK government violate the conduct of the UCI, since, even after confirming the new denomination to the athletes, the management asks that cyclists and support staff to sign a separate statement denying support for Ukraine’s war or the “Russian and Belarusian regimes”, noting that they also receive no financial support from any of the named countries.

“With increased recognition for the UK’s efforts and excellent track record in hosting major international competitions, I feel compelled to convey our concern that measures such as these could impact the future evaluation of UK bids to organize UCI events. I believe that in any relationship, mutual trust is essential. The fact that the UK Government has not shown signs of confidence in our organization will affect our confidence in the UK’s commitment to organizing sporting events for years to come,” said Union International Cycling (UCI) Director David Lappartient .

The UK government responded that: “There is a clear consensus that there should be no Russian and Belarusian state representation in sporting competitions during the Ukraine war. At the request of national governing bodies, we provided guidance on how individual and self-funded athletes could compete in the UK. We will continue to work constructively with governing bodies, sports federations and event organizers to deliver world-class sporting events in the UK and provide support where needed”.

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