Nacer Bouhanni has suffered awful racist abuse after his recent disqualification for dangerous sprinting.
Frenchman Bouhanni has shared details of the abusive and racist message he has received online, after he was involved in a dangerous sprint with British rider Jake Stewart in a French one-day race.
Bouhanni’s Arkéa-Samsic team released a statement in the wake of the abuse their rider has received, saying they “strongly deplore and denounce these acts of racism.”
The wave of racist abuse aimed at Bouhanni comes after he was disqualified from Cholet-Pays de la Loire for forcing Groupama-FDJ rider Stewart into the barrier during the sprint finish.
British sprinter Stewart was able to stay upright but suffered a broken hand in the incident, as the UCI later released a statement condemning Bouhanni’s actions.
Since the incident, Bouhanni has been targeted with racial abuse, both in comments online and in direct messages sent to his social media accounts.
In a statement posted on Monday (April 5), Bouhanni said: “Hello to all the little jokers who have been amusing themselves for a week by writing to me personally or commenting on certain cycling websites that I should return to Africa, that I am a criminal, that I am a North African who needs to be interned and who are constantly sending me [pig emojis],”
“I was born in France and I am going to file a complaint, because I have been putting up with this for a long time already and I’ve kept silent, but this time I won’t let it go anymore.”
In response to the abuse, Arkea-Samsic also said in a statement: “Nacer Bouhanni has suffered violent racist attacks for more than a week, especially on social networks. He decided to file a complaint.
“The Arkéa-Samsic team strongly deplores and denounces these acts of racism and gives its full support to Nacer Bouhanni.”
After the sprinting incident at the 1.1-ranked race in France, the UCI released a statement condemning Bouhanni’s actions.
The 30-year-old now faces a possible suspension as the UCI referred the incident to its Disciplinary Commission.
The UCI has not yet made a statement on the racist abuse Bouhanni has received.