international cycling union

Getty Images

International Cycling Union takes drastic action amid financial ‘crisis’

Leave a comment

GENEVA (AP) — The International Cycling Union took “some drastic action” on Thursday to cut costs amid a revenue shortfall from hundreds of events canceled or postponed during the coronavirus pandemic, including the Tokyo Olympics.

Cycling’s financial outlook is among the bleakest revealed by an Olympic sport’s governing body since the Tokyo Games were rescheduled to 2021.

UCI president David Lappartient and other managers have reduced salaries and allowances, and all 130 employees at its Swiss headquarters and training center are on full or partial furlough.

“Our international federation is going through a crisis that we haven’t experienced since the Second World War,” Lappartient said.

The 28 core Summer Games sports were due to share at least $540 million from the IOC in Tokyo Olympic revenues.

The UCI reported getting 25 million Swiss francs ($25.75 million) from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. It could have expected the same or more in 2020 for organizing 22 medal events in road and track events, mountain biking and BMX.

Now the UCI warns the one-year delay in Tokyo “will lead to a considerable loss of earnings.”

“We need to anticipate both a possible postponement — to 2021 — of the payment of Olympic revenues initially expected in the second semester of 2020, and a probable reduction of the sum paid to the International Federations,” the cycling body said.

The IOC said last week it was too early to comment on possible financial plans with the governing bodies.

For the UCI, hosting and registration fees paid by race organizers including world championships added up to 45% of its 181 million Swiss francs ($187 million) revenue from 2015-18, according to its most recent accounts.

The UCI said it will reimburse registration fees paid for races later canceled. It has received “more than 650 requests” to postpone or cancel events through August.

However, the Tour de France is still due to start June 27 and the Sept. 20-27 road world championships, racing past UCI headquarters in Aigle, “would appear to be safe.”

The UCI’s financial reserves — about 45 million Swiss francs ($46.5 million) in its accounts for 2018 — are also taking a hit.

“Our asset portfolio has suffered from the effects of the pandemic on the financial markets, combined with the collapse of oil prices,” the governing body said.

The UCI is likely to be eligible for financial help, including interest-free loans, in an emergency program approved last month by the Swiss federal government.

MORE: Most decorated U.S. female Olympian on front line of coronavirus fight

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

UCI boss has ‘no remit to reduce’ Lance Armstrong’s lifetime ban

Lance Armstrong
2 Comments

Lance Armstrong‘s cooperation with an independent reform commission’s probe into cycling’s doping culture has not helped his case to have his lifetime ban reduced. At least not yet.

Brian Cookson, the International Cycling Union president, said in January 2014 there was “the possibility of a reduction” in Armstrong’s lifetime ban if he assisted in doping investigations, but that it was in the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s hands.

On Monday, Cookson repeated that it’s up to USADA, after an independent reform commission released a 227-page report on cycling’s doping culture Sunday. The investigation included interviewing Armstrong.

“I’ve got no remit to reduce the ban of Lance Armstrong,” Cookson told reporters Monday, according to VeloNews. “I have no desire to be the president that let Armstrong off the hook, or anything like that.”

USADA banned Armstrong for life in 2012. He was stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles and later admitted to doping during his cycling career in January 2013.

Armstrong’s name was prevalent in the 227-page report released Sunday, with no major new revelations from a 13-month investigation. As were the names of former UCI bosses Hein Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid, deemed ineffective at best in fighting doping during their reigns.

“The commission did not feel that anything that Lance Armstrong had told them was sufficient for them to recommend a reduction in his sanction,” Cookson said, according to VeloNews. “I have found no evidence to contradict that.”

Cookson reportedly added that the commission asked him to facilitate discussion between USADA and Armstrong.

“I am grateful to CIRC for seeking the truth and allowing me to assist in that search,” Armstrong said in a statement Monday. “I am deeply sorry for many things I have done. However, it is my hope that revealing the truth will lead to a bright, dope-free future for the sport I love, and will allow all young riders emerging from small towns throughout the world in years to come to chase their dreams without having to face the lose-lose choices that so many of my friends, teammates, and opponents faced. I hope that all riders who competed and doped can feel free to come forward and help the tonic of truth heal this great sport.”

In a statement Monday, USADA CEO Travis Tygart did not mention possible discussion with Armstrong.

Lance Armstrong on forgiveness: We’re getting close to that time

Lance Armstrong’s lifetime ban could be reduced

Lance Armstrong
7 Comments

“There will be the possibility of a reduction” of Lance Armstrong‘s ban if he assists in doping investigations, the International Cycling Union (UCI) president said Thursday.

“It all depends on what information Lance has and what he’s able to reveal,” UCI president Brian Cookson said, according to The Associated Press. “Actually that’s not going to be in my hands. He’s been sanctioned by USADA.”

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) banned Armstrong for life in 2012 and would have to be the organization to approve scaling it back in the event Armstrong provides new information about doping cases.

“[USADA] would have to agree to any reduction in his sanction based on the validity and strength of the information that he provided,” Cookson said. “If they’re happy, if WADA are happy, then I will be happy.”

However, Cookson said he won’t be calling Armstrong.

“I am deliberately not speaking to anyone involved,” he said, according to VeloNews. “That’s the job of the [UCI’s independent] commission. Lance Armstrong will be able to contact them, just the same as everyone else.

“I am aware that Armstrong is keen to contribute, but I’ve kept one step backward from the process. I don’t want to be seen as interfering in any way.”

Armstrong has said he could be open to testifying with “100 percent transparency and honesty,” if he’s treated fairly compared to others from cycling’s doping era.

“If everyone gets the death penalty, then I’ll take the death penalty,” he told the BBC in November. “If everyone gets a free pass, I’m happy to take a free pass. If everyone gets six months, then I’ll take my six months.”

Lance Armstrong bought race win, Italian cyclist says