The UCI condemns racist abuse directed at Bouhanni

Nacer Bouhanni at Paris-Nice in 2020.

by Dane Cash

photography by Cor Vos

The UCI has condemned the racist abuse directed at Nacer Bouhanni (Arkéa-Samsic) following Bouhanni’s relegation from Cholet-Pays de la Loire. The governing body published a statement on denouncing the abuse on Wednesday, while Bouhanni himself opted against making a planned start at Scheldeprijs.

“The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) wishes to firmly condemn the racist attacks aimed at the French rider Nacer Bouhanni on social media following his disqualification for dangerous conduct during the final sprint at the Cholet-Pays de la Loire,” read a statement from the UCI.

“However serious the fault of the French rider – which forced the UCI to refer the incident to its Disciplinary Commission and demand the imposition of sanctions against him – , nothing justifies the insults he has been subject to in the days following the act he is accused of.”

Bouhanni was relegated after driving Jake Stewart into the barriers in the final sprint at Cholet-Pays de la Loire on March 28. The UCI then said it had referred the incident to its Disciplinary Commission.

On Monday, April 5, Bouhanni posted screenshots to his Instagram story showing some of the racist messages and posts that have been directed at him since the incident. He also posted a message of his own, saying, “this time I won’t let it go anymore,” and stating that he would be filing a police report.

Several of his teammates and others around the peloton, including Stewart, have since publicly condemned the racist abuse that has been directed at Bouhanni.

The 30-year-old Frenchman was slated to start Scheldeprijs this week, but he did not line up for the start on Wednesday. His Arkéa-Samsic team said that “following recent events,” Bouhanni was “not in full capacity to take the start” in the Belgian one-day.

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