Official UCI Rant

In 2021 – 121 years since the inception of the UCI, the world governing body for cycling – why are things such as women finally being granted professional licences, openly gay athletes, and Black-owned teams making news?!?

And why are things such as the UCI promoting and supporting countries and regimes who imprison people for terrorism because they dared to champion human rights not making headlines?!?

That the former is looked upon as “progress” (and the latter simply ignored) shows the UCI have failed miserably for 120 years (and without accountability) to create an empowering and positive structure for cyclists, not to mention fully disregarding their own Constitution and vision statement.

/end rant…for now.


Is there a European professional sport organization that isn’t corrupt as hell?


To answer your second paragraph:

There is some very good writing on this website and this article, though long, will answer some of your questions. The short answer, as ever, is to follow the money.


This was a super interesting read, and way worse than expected.

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No joke. Take a look at the hell hole that is FIFA! :man_facepalming:


I disagree with the characterisation here. I don’t think this is a ‘European’ problem, but rather a ‘Global sports governing body’ problem. And for a bunch of historic reasons, most global sports have their governing bodies headquarters in Europe. In fact, the ones attracting greatest controversy are based in Switzerland (UCI, FIFA, IOC …).

However, when there has been corruption in those organisations, the evidence shows that the participants (individuals and commercial organisations) have come from all corners of the globe - Europe, North America, Asia, Africa …

I’d also argue that systemic prejudice and discrimination are forms of corruption. And I think we can agree that those problems aren’t unique to Europe.


We should put the IOC in charge! Actually maybe the IOC and WADA could collaborate?

Sarcasm off now…

oh god not Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov again. John Oliver had an entire episode about him a while back. It’s weird how one guy can be so ridiculous and so terrible at the same time.

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I mean, the NFL ends its annual period that they dont drug test players each year on 4/20… Super bowl to 4/20, just long enough to get in a cycle. Must work though cause they catch basically nobody so the entire league must be clean.


Arguably MLB had one of the biggest PED scandals ever in pro sports history, You never hear their fans going on about it ad nauseam on discussion boards, etc like pro cycling fans do…


Surely the things you mention in the first quote are evidence of the progress. Are you saying it isn’t progressive? Are you suggesting that the progress is too slow? Some of these things are massive news especially in countries where such things are seen as groundbreaking. The UCI doesn’t only operate in 1st world liberal societies.

Which leads to your second point in your post:

This is an age-old debate around sport in politics which isn’t unique to the UCI but which is an environment within which the UCI needs to operate. Sport it sport, and brings joy to many of the people living miserable lives under the yoke of these oppresive regimes. Should those people have that taken away because the UCI decides it wants to make a largely futile stand against said regimes?

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The nflpa has a say on that. Im sure they want it to be cleaner, but the players have power and 0 tolerance isnt what they wanted.

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meh… The fans dont seem to care. They seem to want the biggest strongest fastest people who never get hurt and play for 200 years. The sponsors want the same, the owners want the same. If it was not illegal at the federal level they would probably just say hell with it and make the league untested.

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uh, yes. 1000x yes. You can’t force athletes to compete in a country pretending there is no COVID were its illegal to be gay.


Progress in sport is always slow I find. Big money and corporate sponsorships dominate. The idea of having a team named after a cyclist-crushing environment destroying monster vehicle seems somewhat bizarre to me but, hey, dollars.


I hear ya, giant petro chemical company anybody?

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Ah, like AMGEN sponsoring the Tour of California?

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Uh… not sure if this is sarcasm but I’m pretty sure if you laid end to end the collective text of MLB fans debating PED’s that it would be longer than the combined total length of every Grand Tour ever and that’s not even counting if you included transcripts from sports radio.

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Do not stare long into the abyss…


i was going to say “FIFA gets a bad rep, but…” and then i laughed out loud, and… yeah, can’t even try to play devil’s advocate there :smiley: