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by Shane Stokes
March 7, 2016
Photography by Cor Vos
With a crucial March 1 deadline now passed, several riders continue to seek unpaid salaries from the Colombia-Coldeportes squad and are awaiting on a UCI decision in relation to the team’s bank guarantee from 2015.
The team stopped at the end of last season, with general manager Claudio Corti saying in October that he had been given very short notice of the decision and appearing to try to lay blame at the door of the backers.
However others were critical of his running of the team. A lengthy article in El Tiempo [translated here by La Ruta del Escarabajo] was heavily critical of the Italian, blaming him for poor organisation. It also said that the backers of the team put too much trust in the Italian.
At the time, a team spokesman told CyclingTips that the shortfall in salaries was a temporary situation that would be soon rectified.
“When it comes to governmental funds, delays in delivery are part of the business,” he said then. “I can tell you that the team is waiting for a payment from Coldeportes, that is reported and expected to be coming in short time.
“After the payment is sealed, the team will be able to regularly settle everything until the end of the year.”
In January the El Tiempo newspaper suggested that team employees were owed six months’ salary.
The UCI confirmed then that the situation was ongoing. “To date one application has been introduced before the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) to call up the bank guarantee,” a spokesman told CyclingTips.
“Requests for information with regards to the applicable procedure have been received.”
He added that, as per article 2.16.031 of the UCI Regulations, any application for the guarantee to be called upon must be submitted to the UCI by 1 March 2016 at the latest.
That date has now come and gone and while the UCI did not respond to several requests for an update on the situation, CyclingTips has obtained verification elsewhere that several riders have applied to the UCI for the funds from the bank guarantee.
Under UCI regulation 2.16.024, Pro Continental squads must deposit “a quarter of all the gross sums to be paid by the professional continental team to the riders and persons contracted for the operation of the team during the registration year plus the amount of CHF 15,000.”
It is not clear how many riders are taking this route nor, indeed, how much is owed.
What is obvious, however, is that the team’s assurances that the matter would be settled have not proven accurate.