US Cycling Team Tried to Pass Off Mechanic as a Rider

Cynisca director accused of making another team member pose as missing required competitor
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2024 12:32 PM CST
US Women's Cycling Team Sanctioned for Rider 'Fraud'
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/Pavel1964)

The American women's cycling team Cynisca was hit with sanctions Monday after the sport's governing body found they'd misrepresented who was set to ride during an international competition last summer. Cycling News reports that at the one-day Argenta Classic held in Belgium in July, the US' Continental Team Cynisca Cycling only had four riders, not the required five needed to sign the entry form at the beginning of the event, and so at first the team tried to say that its fifth rider was present but not feeling well.

The riders were instructed to say so by the team's sports director, Danny Van Haute, according to the International Cycling Union, or UCI. When that wasn't enough for race officials, "Mr. Van Haute instructed the team mechanic, Moira Barrett, to wear a rider's clothes and a face mask, to present herself at the start and sign the start sheet as the team's fifth rider," a UCI release alleges. The actual fifth rider, Greta Richioud, wasn't at the venue at all, per UCI.

The team was found by UCI to have "participated in a fraud," with Van Haute deemed the "main perpetrator." He was fined and banned from all cycling activity through the end of December 2025. Barrett was suspended until this September, while the four other riders received a reprimand. The team also won't be able to participate in their next scheduled international race, and it was hit with an unspecified fine. The AP notes that the sanctions were handed down just one day after the team's Lauren Stephens emerged victorious in Spain's Clasica de Almeria. The team can appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. (More cycling stories.)

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