The UCI Ethics Commission renders decisions in four cases

The Union Cycliste Internationale’s (UCI) Ethics Commission – a body acting independently of the UCI’s administration – announces it recently issued decisions in four cases it dealt with.

In the case involving the President of the Afghan Cycling Federation Mr Fazli Ahmad Fazli, the UCI Ethics Commission has confirmed the closure of all investigations related to the humanitarian operation in which the National Federation and the UCI were involved during which a total of 165 people, including cyclists and other citizens, were evacuated after the takeover of power by the Taliban. The Ethics Commission found that there was no evidence justifying the pursuance of the investigations on allegations of breach of the UCI Code of Ethics. However, the Ethics Commission has underlined that an inquiry remains ongoing regarding other reported potential violations of the UCI Code of Ethics involving the President of the Afghan Cycling Federation.

Following a report concerning Mr Patrick Lefevere, General Manager of the UCI WorldTeam Soudal Quick-Step, for public comments considered as disparaging towards women, the Ethics Commission confirmed that breaches of articles 5 and 6.1 of the Code of Ethics were committed in two instances. Mr Lefevere has been requested to make a public statement recognising the inappropriateness of his statements and apologising therefor. A fine of CHF 20,000 has also been imposed, suspended on condition that Mr Lefevere issues a public statement and does not commit a similar breach of the UCI Code of Ethics within the next three years.

The Ethics Commission had also opened a case against the former President of the Ukrainian Cycling Federation, Mr Alexander Bashenko, for the use of insulting language directed at incumbent officials within the National Federation as well as officials of the UCI and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The statements made in messaging groups with members of the National Federation were deemed contrary to article 5 and 6.1 of the UCI Code of Ethics. Mr Bashenko was handed a provisional suspension upon the case being opened and the UCI Ethics Commission has now confirmed a suspension of one year starting from 23 May 2023 as well as a fine of CHF 5,000.

Finally, the Ethics Commission has issued a decision against the Slovak Cycling Federation. Following receipt of a denunciation in 2023 regarding the exclusion of an assistant driver in the Tour of Slovakia, the Ethics Commission found that the Slovak Cycling Federation took such decision in an arbitrary manner and without appropriate justification, in violation of article 6.4 of the Code of Ethics which protects the personal rights of individuals. The Slovak Cycling Federation received a reprimand and a fine of CHF 5,000, the latter suspended on condition that no other similar infringement of the Code of Ethics is committed within two years.

The UCI notes that all decisions of its Ethics Commission involving the impositions of sanctions remain subject to appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).