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by Mark Zalewski
December 23, 2016
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: UCI announces reformed points system for 2017 and beyond, will reward more riders in events; Former world champion Petra de Bruin speaks out about years of sexual abuse during her cycling career; UCI approves suspended Funvic Soul Cycles-Carrefour team’s ProContinental license; Former British Cycling coach posts about Brailsford controversy; David Walsh challenged over Team Sky defence; Tour de Langkawi reveals 2017 route despite economic troubles; Thomas De Gendt helps with Tom Simpson memorial; LottoNL-Jumbo presents 2017 team, goals; University to offer student mechanic scholarships; ‘Richmond 24’ short documentary; Team Sky holiday video; Santa gets own cyclocross category.
Just weeks after the Dutch cycling federation, KNWU, announced its large-scale investigation into (sexual) intimidation, 54-year-old retired cyclist Petra de Bruin has come forward about the years of sexual abuse she endured as a young cyclist. A former world champion and four-time Dutch national champion in road and track disciplines, De Bruin said that after decades of silent suffering, she finally found the courage to come forward and tell the media about the abuse that started when she was just a minor.
“I’m now 54 and I’ve had a lot of grief every day because of it,” she told the Dutch NOS news service. De Bruin revealed that she had been sexually abused by a number of different people throughout her cycling career. One manager in particular, who remains unnamed, made her perform sexual acts against her will for 10 years.
“He took possession of my body. No one was allowed to touch me except for him,” she said. When De Bruin first reported the abuse to the KNWU –years after ending her cycling career – the case went to meditation but complete denial and intimidation by her abuser left De Bruin feeling powerless and she decided to not take any further legal action.
“I gave up the fight and tried to move on with my life,” she said. Until now. In order to fully move on with her life, De Bruin wants recognition for the events in the past.
“It took me years and years to say what I say now. And it hurts so much,” she said. This news comes just weeks after the KNWU publicised its ongoing investigation into (sexual) harassment and intimidation in cycling.
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