TCA “It’s Right to Say No” Campaign

The “It's Right to say No” campaign from TCA aims to create a culture of respect, safety, and empowerment within the professional cycling community. By recognizing, addressing, and reporting boundary violations, we can ensure that every female cyclist can pursue her passion for cycling with confidence and dignity. 

Recognize It

It is important to understand what constitutes boundary violations within the context of a cycling team.

There are subtle signs and red flags to look out for when determining if boundaries are violated. These could include persistently invading one’s personal space, disregarding verbal or non-verbal cues of discomfort, and manipulation tactics aimed at coercing compliance. 

Boundary violations might include unwanted physical contact, inappropriate comments or gestures, and pressure to engage in an activity against one’s will. 

Some examples of where boundaries could be violated within the context of a cycling team include: 

·       Inappropriate and unwelcome physical contact from staff 

·       Presence of staff at uninvited moments, such as while changing at a race, or while having a massage

·       Verbal bullying individually or in team settings, such as during meetings 

·       Inappropriate comments from staff around your weight, eating habits, or amount of food consumed around races.

·       The team restricts access to food at or around races. 

·       A team does not respect your health when suffering an injury (ex. concussion recovery)

Cyclists should trust their own instincts to recognize when their boundaries are being compromised. All concerns are valid and deserving of attention. You always have the right to say no and address these situations.

Address it

A rider should always listen to their intuition and address situations with confidence. Power dynamics and one’s own place in the team are often under consideration but should not limit action. Addressing boundary violations and issues early on will improve one’s own situation and help to build a positive and safe culture within the sport of cycling. 

There are multiple ways to address problems in different contexts: 

·       Practice assertive communication and boundary setting, such as saying “no” confidently and setting clear boundaries in advance.

·       Seek advice and help from a trusted individual, all concerns are valid and deserving of attention. The TCA has an ethics officer who is available for consultation.

·       Encourage teams to develop their own internal agreements and policies to set clear boundaries and expectations for staff and athlete behaviour.

·       In the case of medical issues or injury, seek out a second opinion and consult experts from the TCA, your national federation, or national team doctor.

·       Seek legal help with any contract related violations, the TCA legal team can offer assistance.

Report It

A boundary violation can often be prevented and resolved by recognizing it and addressing it, however reporting it is necessary in more serious situations.  

There are now reporting tools and resources available at different levels of the sport:

·       TCA level: A TCA ethics officer is available to help you identify the right reporting system to use and to navigate and support you through the entire process when necessary.

·       Federation level: Your federation might have a reporting tool available that will accept cases, however other options could be considered if you feel there is a conflict of interest.

·       National level: Your government or sport ministry might have a reporting tool available and will open an investigation into your case once submitted. 

·       UCI level: UCI has a SPEAKUP REPORTING PLATFORM that is available on their website that is confidential and highly secure. All reports can be made anonymously.

Remember that you always have the right to say no. By recognizing, addressing, and reporting boundary violations, we can change the culture and ensure that every female cyclist feels empowered, respected, and safe in the sport. #ItsRightToSayNo #StriveforFairness  

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