The Cyclists' Alliance is proud to announce the arbitration victory of our member, Alison Jackson, in a dispute with her former team BePink. While the exact details of the judgment are sealed because of arbitration rules in Italy, Alison was able to recover lost salary and defend herself from counter-claims by the team.
Every small victory in upholding the rights of women cyclists is a bigger step forward for us in our sport. Jackson's case demonstrates that you have undeniable rights as an athlete, and that you can successfully pursue a resolution through the proper legal channels.
Jackson was represented through our network at EU Athletes, by Italian sports lawyer Alessandro Marzoli. "We always have to fight for our rights, even if it is difficult," said Marzoli after obtaining a verdict in Jackson's favor. "It is important to show athletes that being punished with missing wages, and being treated disrespectfully can be won in court."
The arbitration case is important for athletes in our sport because it shows that the minimum standards of treatment and our sporting regulations must be honored. This case transcends the Alliance and Jackson by providing a precedent for other riders -- men and women -- who might also find themselves in a dispute with their team.
"I could not have done this alone, and I am so thankful for the guidance and resources from The Cyclists' Alliance," said Jackson of her ordeal. "When this situation first began I didn't know what to do or where to start!"
According to Marzoli, "It is a huge win because the arbitration panel used several legal tests, examined many official documents, and the hearings were like a very long fight. Alison and The Cyclists' Alliance should be proud of this win. It is a victory for all cyclists and they should not be afraid to stand up for their rights."
Jackson described the process as tough, but thanked the Alliance for their help at every step of the way. "I was able to handle the stress of waiting and the unknown because I had such good support from The Cyclists' Alliance and Alessandro. I was able to put the case into their hands and forget about it for the moments when I needed to focus on training and racing. It was important to me to stand up for myself and for the truth."
Alison Jackson is just one rider among many, but by standing up for her rights she has renewed the need for integrity in how contracts are written to protect athletes from potentially abusive situations. "I want other athletes to know they can call on the Alliance for help and that they are not alone," she said. "If riders are brave enough to step up, you can win."
The Alliance would like to thank our partners at EU Athletes, and the professionalism of Marzoli to represent Alison Jackson in her case. If you are a rider in a potentially damaging or career-harming dispute with your team, please join the Alliancetoday and ask how we can help you today!