UCI says women’s team manager breached ethics code after abuse and inappropriate behaviour allegations

A number of riders complained to the governing body over Patrick Van Gansen’s conduct

Riders for Health Mate at the team presentation for the Amstel Gold Race 2019 (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The UCI has found that a former manager of women’s squad Team Health Mate violated the ethics code after he was accused of abuse and inappropriate behaviour.

Cycling’s international governing body launched an investigation into Patrick Van Gansen in 2019 when three riders lodged formal complaints.

On Monday (April 20), the UCI announced the conclusion of its report, finding that Van Gansen had breached UCI Code of Ethics.

The UCI said its Disciplinary Commission will now decide on a possible sanction for the Belgian.

A statement from the body said: “The UCI Ethics Commission has completed its report in the case involving Mr Patrick Van Gansen (former manager of the UCI Women’s Team Health Mate - Ladies Team) related to allegations by a number of riders of harassment.

“Following completion of the report – which took into account a considerable number of statements and covers several years – by independent investigation agency The Sport Resolutions, the UCI Ethics Commission reached the finding that violations of the UCI Code of Ethics had been committed.

“Considering the sanctions recommended by the UCI Ethics Commission, the matter has been handed over to the UCI Disciplinary Commission, which has initiated proceedings with a view to the possibility of sanctions being imposed.”

In June last year, the UCI opened its formal investigation into allegations of abuse and inappropriate behaviour by Van Gansen after three riders, who left the team over the course of 12 months, lodged formal complaints.

A number of other riders came forward with allegations of “shouting, abuses of power, and unprofessionalism” within the “unsettling environment” of the team.

The allegations against Van Gansen include that he was verbally aggressive and made sexually inappropriate comments towards riders.

After the UCI launched its investigation, Van Gansen denied any wrongdoing and said he would take legal action against the riders who made allegations against him.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.