RadioShack face disciplinary hearing over outfits
Lance Armstrong’s American team RadioShack must go before a disciplinary hearing for “breaking the rules on riders’ uniforms” in the Tour de France, cycling’s governing body the UCI announced on Monday.
The team appeared for Sunday’s final stage of the Tour wearing black outfits emblazoned with the number 28 — a reference to the 28 million people that Armstrong’s Livestrong foundation estimates are living with cancer — rather than their usual grey and red.
They were forced to change back, causing a 20-minute delay to the start of the final stage.
The RadioShack riders later donned their black outfits to climb onto the podium on the Champs Elysees to collect their team award.
“The UCI regrets that an initiative for a cause as worthy as the fight against cancer was not coordinated beforehand with the commissaires and organisers of the event. This could have been done whilst remaining within the rules,” said the UCI in a statement on their website. “Team RadioShack’s incorrect behaviour led to a 20-minute delay to the start of the final stage, which could have disrupted the televised coverage of the race, placing the commissaires under the obligation to impose a fine on each rider and the team managers.
“Team RadioShack subsequently breached the regulations by wearing an incorrect uniform on the podium for the protocol ceremony having been instructed not to.”
Team manager Johan Bruyneel has also been called to face the disciplinary committee for remarks that the UCI called “utterly unacceptable”.
Armstrong famously battled cancer in 1998 to return to racing and win the Tour seven times consecutively. In recent years his Livestrong foundation has been involved in raising awareness, and funds, in a bid to beat the disease.
The UCI said that because of RadioShack’s good intentions “any fines levied as a result of this matter would be donated to the Swiss League Against Cancer”.