The UCI Athletes’ Commission held a three-day session in Switzerland from Monday to Wednesday to draw up proposals to improve the daily lives of competitive cyclists and enhance the image and operation of the sport.
The members of the Commission, established in 2011, are active athletes who represent all the disciplines of cycling, including para-cycling, with both male and female representatives. The Commission members exchange their ideas without restriction.
The recommendations issued by the Athletes’ Commission are directed to all the stakeholders in cycling: the UCI, National Federations, anti-doping organisations, event organisers, professional teams, etc.
After considering the situation of women’s cycling, the Athletes’ Commission proposed that the prize lists for all women’s events should be equivalent to those for men’s races, as will shortly be the case for the UCI World Championships.
The members of the Commission want to encourage UCI WorldTour teams to invest in women’s squads and the organisers of men’s events to also offer races for women, in this way making the women’s calendar more global.
The Athletes’ Commission also studied several options to support the battle against doping and improve the image of cycling.
The Commission proposed stiffening the sanctions against riders found guilty of doping in order to have a dissuasive effect. In this respect, the Athletes’ Commission supports the UCI regulations introduced on 1 July 2011 that prohibit any person involved in a doping case from returning to cycling in any post or position of responsibility. Furthermore, the Commission proposed sanctioning the teams and the entourage of riders who test positive and not just the rider him or herself.
In order to fight against the temptation to dope and guarantee all athletes a comfortable standard of living, the Commission recommended that the riders’ minimum salary should be increased and a ceiling imposed on teams’ salary budgets in order to reduce the financial differences between leaders and team riders.
The Athletes’ Commission emphasised the need to educate young athletes and their team helpers. The Commission supports the training initiatives undertaken in this regard, in particular those held at the World Cycling Centre.
While offering its backing to the fight against doping led by the UCI, the Commission proposed that UCI suggest WADA to simplify the access and use of ADAMS whereabouts software by athletes.
Furthermore, the Commission declared its support for the integration of disabled athletes in non-para-cycling competitions, while limiting numbers for safety reasons. The Commission encourages the development of para-cycling so that the athletes concerned can enjoy accomplished careers.
The Commission suggests that athletes be invited to more commissions and working groups which define the direction of each discipline. The Commission suggests that athletes contribute their proposals via the following e-mail address: email@example.com
Finally, the Athletes’ Commission acknowledged the work conducted by the UCI on improving insurance cover and assisting riders after their sporting careers are over. The UCI has informed the Athletes’ Commission of its desire for currently active athletes to transfer their skills by devoting themselves to the various professions of cycling after their sporting careers have concluded.
UCI President Pat McQuaid said: “The exchanges of the UCI Athletes’ Commission have been very fruitful and I am delighted that representatives of all disciplines are meeting together in the second year of the Commission and working with the UCI on positive ways forward for our sport. We will now study the Commission’s recommendations and present them to all our stakeholders.”