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Afghan cyclist abuse allegedly continuing from UCI HQ in Switzerland

Afghan cyclist abuse allegedly continuing from UCI HQ in Switzerland

Afghan and Ukraine refugee cyclists pose with senior members of the UCI and IOC. (Photo: UCI) A formal complaint reveals scale of abuse and trauma,…

Wednesday, Jun 08

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Afghan and Ukraine refugee cyclists pose with senior members of the UCI and IOC. (Photo: UCI) A formal complaint reveals scale of abuse and trauma, as UCI outlines its plans to host Afghan Women’s Championships.

Days after the UCI outlined its plans to host the Afghan Women’s Road Cycling Championships from its base in Aigle, Switzerland, troubling new allegations of ongoing abuse have come to light.

A complaint submitted to the UCI Ethics Commission – viewed by CyclingTips – contains allegations that members of the Afghan Cycling Federation continue to discriminate against female cyclists and members of the Hazara religious minority. The perpetrators include Fazli Ahmad Fazli, who is hosted in Switzerland by the UCI.

The long, troubling timeline detailed in the complaint stretches back to the UCI-led evacuation of a convoy of Afghan cyclists in the wake of the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan.

That evacuation was seen as a courageous humanitarian accomplishment, and – as can be seen in the UCI’s latest plans – is a positive PR opportunity the organisation continues to draw on.

The evacuation was also a centrepiece moment of the 2021 UCI Congress , with Fazli Ahmad Fazli – the Afghan Cycling Federation’s president since 2019 – being awarded a UCI Merit for his “courageous commitment to the development of cycling, notably women’s cycling, in a country where fighting for this cause is a risk” and “dedicat[ing] his life” to the cause. Fazli – along with many of those in the convoy – received Swiss visas and […]

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