PRESS RELEASE
Date: 28 juillet / July 2008

Statement from Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI)

The UCI would like to comment on a recent BBC report regarding the UCI and the Japanese organisers of keirin racing.

UCI looked into this matter when questions were first raised by the BBC in early June. A thorough examination of our records and interviews with those involved has turned up no evidence that this was anything other than a straightforward, completely proper arrangement to promote track cycling.

As UCI exists to promote cycling, it is perfectly logical that UCI would cooperate with Japanese national cycling groups to encourage international interest in track cycling. The agreement did not include any provision regarding keirin’s acceptance as an Olympic sport or even a commitment by UCI to seek its inclusion in the Olympic programme. To conclude otherwise would be incorrect. In fact, the agreement was signed six months after keirin was entered in the programme, along with three other track cycling events – the men’s Olympic sprint and Madison, and the women’s 500-meter time trial.

The agreement produced clear benefits for all track cycling disciplines as evidenced by the superb progression of track cycling over the past 10 years. It allowed UCI to hire a full-time track cycling coordinator, support track cycling events around the world and contributed to the establishment of a world cycling center, including a velodrome in Switzerland. Through UCI’s efforts, track cycling was rejuvenated in the mid-1990s.

In addition, all expenses related to the agreement were reviewed by an independent auditor and deemed proper.

UCI Press Office