One of the key aims of The Cyclists Alliance is to improve safety in cycling. We strive for this by shining a light on the subject to advocate for better standards and protections, and also offering practical and legal support to riders who have had to deal with sexual harassment or other abusive behaviours. We are happy to see the UCI has made changes to the Ethics Code, in a step we believe will benefit riders.
The TCA has assisted multiple riders in the process of lodging formal complaints at the UCI Ethics Commission, guiding them through this process from a legal perspective, managing expectations, and giving moral support when needed.
As a result of our experience with the process and with riders, we identified some major flaws in the Ethics code and the procedure that comes with it. We highlighted these in a evaluation report accompanied by several recommendations on how to improve the procedure. We sent the report to the UCI in February 2021, requesting a dialogue on our recommendations.
We are appreciative that the UCI responded to this request and the TCA, together with the UCI and CPA, had two dialogue sessions in which we collectively discussed the current Ethics code and recommendations to change this procedure and process.
Not all, but many of the TCA recommendations have been incorporated, or mitigated by the proposed changes and the TCA is of the view that a more equitable process will follow as a result.
- There are changes to the code - such as: the victims’ right to: being heard; being better informed on the procedure; receive reasoning on alldecisions. These are designed to diminish disadvantages felt by victims, where they were not able to be named as a party
- The Ethics Commission now has the authority to issue disciplinary sanctions, which will accelerate the procedure timeline.
- The Ethics Commission now has the authority to impose provisional measures, for instance a suspension of the alleged perpetrator while the case is being treated and investigated by the UCI
- The UCI will appoint an Integrity Manager that works on this topic on a broader perspective, educates and can give procedural assistance to victims or can act as a trusted person.
The TCA had recommended parameters around the timing of communication towards the parties, the victim and any press releases. This has not been adopted, however the UCI has acknowledged the need for improvement in this regard and we are hopeful that the above changes should result in shorter timelines for cases.
Whilst not all TCA recommendations were adopted, we recognise the progress made with these changes and the adjusted Ethics code. We appreciate the UCI’s willingness to review and adopt of these changes and for the collaborative approach taken to this by the UCI and the CPA.
A a safe working environment for all riders and a better Ethics procedure is something the TCA has been advocating for since it was founded in 2017. The TCA will keep supporting riders who face unsafe conditions and / or harassment and will keep the topic front and centre in our priorities as we continue to advocate for safety. We will continue to hold the UCI and all stakeholders accountable for their responsibilities until the culture in our sport has changed for the better, and to ensure that rider safety is paramount.
Also read: Recommendations on the UCI Ethics Procedure