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by Mark Zalewski
August 11, 2016
In Thursday’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Cancellara smashes Rio time trial to take second Olympic gold medal; Experience pays off in gold as Kristin Armstrong wins rainy Olympic time trial; Trentin takes Tour de l’Ain opener; Hosking wins Route de France sprint; WorldTour teams vote to skip the TTT world championships; Human rights group urges UCI to reject Bahrain-Merida team; Giant-Alpecin signs young talent; Possible tensions between Cavendish and Wiggins on eve of track start; Italian anti-doping authorities test under 13 youths; Yorkshire a possible host for European championships; Dan Craven uses Twitter to decide on Olympic TT start; From bobsled track to velodrome; Route de France on-board highlights; Calculate your VO2 max; BMX rider Daniel Dhers rides salt ramps
The UCI has confirmed to rights groups on 9 August that the controversial Bahrain WorldTour team has not applied for formal registration yet, with the deadline for applications Monday, 15 August. Rights groups have publicly called for the UCI to deny the team a WorldTour license.
“Although we are glad to learn no application was officially submitted to the UCI, we reiterate that the only way to safeguard the integrity of the sport is for the UCI to reject any application from the Bahrain team,” Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, Director of Advocacy for the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, said in a statement.
“It is appalling to see Merida sponsor the team, despite all the human rights and ethical problems being brought to their attention.”
The new Bahrain-Merida team is headed by Prince Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, but has been controversial, with allegations of human rights violations relating to torture levied against him.
In July, the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) and the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) wrote to fifteen sponsors of world cycling, including Merida, who have now publicly backed the team, alerting them to concerns over the human rights questions in the Prince’s past.
Sponsor BMC Switzerland confirmed in July that they had been indirectly approached to sponsor the Bahrain team, but had rejected to do so.