England tandem team fined following Commonwealth Games podium protest

Sophie Unwin and pilot Georgia Holt receive apology from organisers but a fine from the UCI. And still no medal.

Spohie Unwin and Georgia Holt protest
(Image credit: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

The England paracycling duo of Sophie Unwin and Georgia Holt have received an apology from Commonwealth Games organisers but, at the same time, a fine from cycling's governing body following their protest after discovering that they would not be receiving a bronze medal from yesterday's women's tandem B sprint.

Despite finishing third the pair were denied a place on the podium due to a rule that states a bronze medal will not be awarded in races with just four entries. The scoreboard at the Lee Valley Velopark Velodrome in London flashed up that pair were medal winners, but Unwin was left in tears after officials informed her of the ruling.

Unwin and Holt stood behind the medal ceremony holding an England flag before being moved on, and later posed on the podium with medals borrowed from the women's team pursuit quartet. 

According to reports from PA Media,  the Commonwealth Games Federation today apologised, but the UCI has fined them and England team manager Keith Reynolds 200 Swiss Francs (£172) for 'failing to respect the instructions' of the organisers.

The CGF said: “The policy – which was published in January this year – states that only gold and silver medals are awarded where there are only four contestants; and only gold medals where there are only three or two contestants.

“Unfortunately, while the athletes in the women’s tandem B sprint event were informed of this before the race, the scoreboard and results sheet incorrectly indicated that it was a bronze medal race. We apologise to the athletes involved for the inadvertent distress this has caused.”

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Content Director

Rob has been Content Director of Cycling Weekly - and stablemates Bikeperfect, Cyclingnews.com and MBR - since May 2021. Before that he spent two years in similar role at Bikeradar, which followed 12-years as Editor-in-chief of Cycling Plus magazine and eight years at Runner's World. In his time as a cycling journalist he's ridden from London to Paris at least twice, London to Bristol once, completed the Fred Whitton Challenge, L'Etape du Tour and Maratona dles Dolomites. He's also jumped into the broom-wagon at La Marmotte and Oetzaler Radmarathon.