FRENCH RIDERS FREE TO RACE AT OLYMPICS AND WORLDS

CW breaking news 2

The fall-out between the UCI, the world governing body, and the French Cycling Federation, which has sided with Tour de France organiser ASO in the row that's split cycling, will not affect French riders.

There had been suggestions French riders could pay the price if the UCI decided to bar them from the Olympic Games and World Championships.

The UCI's management committee has suspended the French Cycling Federation ? but the sanctions do not extend to the riders.

At a meeting of the world governing body's management committee in Snekkersten, Denmark, it was decided that the French Cycling Federation (FFC) should be suspended until the end of the year (December 31, 2008).

The FFC has breached UCI regulations by agreeing to support the organisation of Paris-Nice, an event owned by French company ASO, outside the framework of the governing body.

July's Tour de France ? ASO's flagship event ? will also be held outside of the UCI's jurisdiction, under FFC rules.

The FFC has also been fined 10,000 Swiss francs.

The suspension means the French governing body will not be allowed to take part in the next UCI congress, none of its candidates can stand for election to any UCI committees, all French Cycling Federation representatives have been suspended from all UCI committees and commissions and no applications to host UCI World Championship events will be considered.

Reacting to the decision, UCI president Pat McQuaid, who, having initiated the request for the suspension, did not participate in the decision-making process by members of the management committee, commented that this was "a strong decision that demonstrates that the UCI will not tolerate one of its members flouting international cycling regulations".

The UCI president also declared that he was "satisfied that the sanctions did not affect French riders or events", saying that this was "for the good of the sport". The UCI management committee rejected the option to exclude French riders from the World Championships and other international events, in particular the Olympic Games.

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