UCI opens two investigations into sexual assault at Doltcini-Van Eyck

Two of the team's former riders have come forward with claims against a soigneur

Doltcini-Van Eyck (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The UCI has opened two investigations into sexual assault allegations made against a Doltcini - Van Eyck soigneur.

Two former riders at the women's second division team have come forward with stories of alleged abuse printed in Le Monde.

The two riders in question are 24-year-old American Sara Youmans and 21-year-old Canadian Maggie Coles-Lyster.

"It happened immediately with my first massage," Coles-Lyster told the French newspaper of what happened when she had just arrived in Europe in 2017 at the age of 18. "He went with my hands up along my legs to my vagina. Although I wore panties, I thought it was very strange.

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"We were all girls between the ages of sixteen and eighteen. It felt very uncomfortable, but I had just arrived in Europe and did not want to be the person who would complain. He took me by the arm for the race and gave me intimate messages."

Coles-Lyster says she told her team manager at the time what happened and the cases are now being handled by the UCI's ethics committee.

"I didn't dare say anything at home in Canada, but I did send an e-mail to the team manager in which I told him what the soigneur did and that I was no longer in the same with him wanted to live in the house or receive messages from him."

Doltcini-Van Eyck, who at the time were called Lares-Waowdeals, have not yet made a public statement on the matter, nor has the person at the centre of the case or the UCI.

In June last year the UCI opened an investigation into Health Mate manager Patrick Van Gansen after three riders made formal complaints of abuse and inappropriate behaviour.

The sponsor cut ties with the team the same month and seven other riders came forward to detail an "unsettling environment" that included "shouting, abuses of power, and unprofessionalism".

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