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UCI Athletes’ Commission recommends salary cap, support for women’s cycling

The UCI Athletes’ Commission, made up of male and female cyclists and para-cyclists, convened for three days this week in Switzerland to offer its ideas for improving the sport to the UCI, national federations, teams, race organizers and anti-doping bodies.

The commission includes president Florian Rousseau, road representatives Philippe Gilbert, Dario Cioni, Bernhard Eisel, Marianne Vos and Judith Arndt, mountain bike representatives Georgia Gould and Greg Minnaar, track representatives Anna Meares and Teun Mulder, cyclocross representative Sven Nys, BMX representatives Vilma Rimsaite and Roger Rinderknecht, and para-cycling representatives Jiri Jezek and Lukas Weber. The group’s proposals focused on women’s cycling, anti-doping efforts and rider salaries, according to a press release issued by the UCI on Wednesday.

In a bid to further bolster the commercial viability of women’s cycling, the commission recommended equalizing prize money for women at all UCI events. According to the release, the UCI is set to offer equal purses for men and women at upcoming world championships, though a request for comment on this change was not immediately returned.

Additionally, the commission, which met Monday through Wednesday, proposed that WorldTour teams further develop in-house women’s squads, such as those of Orica-GreenEdge and Rabobank.

The commission also recommended both an increase in the minimum rider salary, and a cap on overall team payroll, according to the release, citing improved livelihood and reduced incentive for lower-earning riders to dope.

The commission’s recommendations stretched further into anti-doping, and included a proposal to increase the current two-year sanction on riders who test positive, while endorsing the UCI’s current lifetime sanction barring riders banned for doping from working in team management. The commission also recommended sanctions against the teams and entourages of riders found guilty of doping.

The commission also proposed that the UCI simplify the ADAMS system, the World Anti-Doping Agency’s whereabouts reporting software.

Furthermore, the Athletes’ Commission endorsed the education of young cyclists at the World Cycling Center in Aigle, Switzerland, while expressing support for the UCI’s recent improvements to rider insurance and its assistance in post-retirement job placement for riders.

In addition to its recommendations, the commission offered its support for allowing disabled cyclists to race in non-para-cycling events where safely possible.

“The exchanges of the UCI Athletes’ Commission have been very fruitful and I am delighted that representatives of all disciplines are meeting together in the second year of the commission and working with the UCI on positive ways forward for our sport,” said UCI president Pat McQuaid. “We will now study the commission’s recommendations and present them to all our stakeholders.”

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