UCI condemns online racist abuse of Frenchman Bouhanni

Cycling - The 104th Tour de France cycling race
FILE PHOTO: Cycling - The 104th Tour de France cycling race - The 14-km (8.7 miles) individual time-trial Stage 1 - Duesseldorf, Germany - July 1, 2017 - Cofidis rider Nacer Bouhanni of France starts the stage. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

April 8, 2021

(Reuters) – Cycling’s world governing body UCI on Wednesday condemned the racist abuse of Nacer Bouhanni after the Frenchman was targeted on social media following his disqualification for dangerous conduct from the Cholet–Pays de la Loire race last month.

Team Arkea-Samsic’s Bouhanni is facing disciplinary action from the UCI for shoving Groupama–FDJ’s Jake Stewart into the barriers in the sprint finish at the race.

The 30-year-old said that he had been subject to racial attacks on social media afterwards and posted screenshots of some of the messages he received.

“However serious the fault of the French rider… nothing justifies the insults he has been subject to in the days following the act he is accused of,” UCI said in a statement https://www.uci.org/inside-uci/press-releases/uci-statement-concerning-nacer-bouhanni-2.

“The UCI would like to reaffirm its unqualified commitment to fighting against all forms of discrimination, whatever the reasons behind it.

“Our federation, via its constitution, its code of ethics and its various programmes, upholds and promotes the principles of inclusion and the respect for others.”

Briton Stewart, who fractured his hand following the incident in the race, managed to stay upright and crossed the line in 29th place before criticising Bouhanni’s conduct on social media.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)