Home > Other Fun Stuff > Advocacy & Industry News > News

U.S. Women’s Cycling Team Disciplined by UCI After Team Mechanic Poses as 5th Rider

UCI Union Cycliste Internationale logo
8 Comments
Support us! Bikerumor may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn More

There are many ways to run afoul of the UCI, but this is a new one for us. Apparently after showing up to a race without enough riders, an American Women’s cycling team was caught trying to present a team mechanic as their 5th rider.

The “fraud” (UCI’s words, not ours) started when UCI Women’s Continental Team Cynisca Cycling headed down to participate in the Argenta Classic – 2 Districtenpijl Ekeren-Deurne. According to the UCI, only four team members were present, not the required five to take the start.

After claiming their fifth team member was present but ill, they were told that all five riders had to sign the start sheet to qualify for the event. That’s where the team’s mechanic comes in, and allegedly at the instruction of the team’s Sports Director, wore a mask and rider’s clothes to sign the start sheet as the fifth rider.

As a result, all team members as outlined below were found to “have participated in a fraud under article 12.4.008 of the UCI Regulations.”

From UCI:

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announces that its Disciplinary Commission has rendered its decision in the disciplinary proceedings initiated against UCI Women’s Continental Team Cynisca Cycling.

The UCI had referred the case to its Disciplinary Commission following a potential case of fraudulent actions by members of Cynisca Cycling with the objective of enabling the team’s participation in the Argenta Classic – 2 Districtenpijl Ekeren-Deurne despite not having the required number of five riders to take the start. 

The Disciplinary Commission found that, although only four riders were present and available to start the event, several members of the team had participated in a fraud under article 12.4.008 of the UCI Regulations by attempting to deceive the Commissaires’ Panel into believing that a fifth rider was present and could take part in the event. The team’s Sports Director, Danny Van Haute, instructed the riders present (Anna Hicks, Cara O’Neil, Katherine Sarkisov and Claire Windsor) to lie about the whereabouts of a fifth rider – who was not physically present at the venue – when questioned by the Commissaires. The riders stated to the President of the Commissaires’ Panel that a fifth rider was present but ill. Then, upon being informed by the Commissaires that the team could not participate if all five riders did not sign the start sheet and take the start, Mr Van Haute instructed the team mechanic, Moira Barrett, to wear a rider’s clothes and a face mask, to present herself at the start and sign the start sheet as the team’s fifth rider. 

The above-mentioned members of the team were therefore all found to have participated in a fraud under article 12.4.008 of the UCI Regulations, with different levels of implication.

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.

Moira Barrett played an active role in the fraud by wearing a rider’s clothes and attempting to sign the start sheet as the team’s fifth rider. She was sanctioned with a suspension from any activity in cycling until 1st September 2024.

Anna Hicks, Cara O’Neil, Katherine Sarkisov and Claire Windsor were found to have followed Danny Van Haute’s instructions and sanctioned with a reprimand under article 12.3.002 of the UCI Regulations. 

Finally, the team was sanctioned with a suspension effective for the next event on the UCI International Calendar for which its participation is confirmed as well as a fine.

The decision remains subject to a possible appeal before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

8 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Yeah sure
Yeah sure
1 month ago

Isn’t this what they tried to do to the boys in cool runnings? Before John Candy ran into the weird boardroom with zero security and convinced that guy not to?

Lorelei
Lorelei
1 month ago

Oh that guy that cheated in the ’84 Olympics? Shocking!

Matt Chambers
Matt Chambers
1 month ago
Reply to  Lorelei

It wasn’t cheating at the time.

Jason DW
Jason DW
1 month ago

Really ladies? C’mon…

Pete
Pete
1 month ago
Reply to  Jason DW

Please re-think your comment – the ladies are under total pressure from the DS. Even the mechanic was probably threatened to do it. So likely this wasn’t really their fault, it’s the one guy in power who decided the misguided strategy.

Pete
Pete
1 month ago
Reply to  Jason DW

Unless of course the riders only got caught by laughing their asses off at how awesome this will be if they get away with it…but none of the news stories about this made it out like that.

Robert Miskines
Robert Miskines
1 month ago

UCI overlords! But it was deception, where was the 5th rider anway? Perhaps the the team should consist of morre that 5 members so they have a backup?

Derrick
Derrick
1 month ago

Some of the UCI rules are questionable. Its not like they gain an advantage by being DOWN a rider.

Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive BikeRumor content direct to your inbox.

Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive BikeRumor content direct to your inbox.