After EPO positive, French rider Marion Sicot alleges abuse by team director
Another rider has come forward with allegations of abuse by the director of Belgian team Doltcini-Van Eyck, Marc Bracke. Marion Sicot, who tested positive for EPO at the French national time trial championships in 2019, says that her decision to purchase the drug was instigated by her treatment by Bracke.
Echoing the allegations of American Sara Youmans, Sicot claims that she was asked to send photos of herself in her underwear to Bracke every Monday beginning in November 2018. The request was part of a series of alleged abuses surrounding Sicot’s performance and weight. Bracke, according to Sicot, believed that Sicot was fat and he needed updates on her weight. Without the photos, he would not allow her to start races.
This pressure to perform, and to keep her weight down, is what led Sicot to order EPO off a Chinese website, she claims. She ordered ten bottles after Googling “purchase EPO.”
“I deserve to have a sanction but I would like to have a light sentence due to the circumstances with my sports director,” Sicot said. “It wasn’t the real Marion who did that.”
The allegations come on the heels of multiple sexual assault allegations against the Belgian Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport team. One against a soigneur, who was not named but allegedly is still working in women’s cycling, and multiple allegations against the team director, Bracke.
Youmans claims that she was in negotiations for a contract with the Belgian team on October 1st of 2019 when the director insisted she send him photos of herself in her underwear. In a statement by Bracke after the allegations became public, he said that he was requesting the photos for “for professional reasons, yes, but only the legs. I am not interested in pictures of women in underwear,” according to Le Monde. Youmans, 24, was trying to get a contract with Doltcini-Van Eyck for the 2020 season.
Bracke has been the director of Doltcini-Van Eyck since it was Lares-Waowdeals in 2016.
The ball is now in the court of the UCI’s Ethics Commission, who received the first complaint from Youmans in October of 2019. As of writing this, Bracke is still directing Doltcini-Van Eyck.