Cynisca Biking has confirmed that it has parted methods with a board of administrators member Inga Thompson and sports activities director Marion Clignet. A crew consultant confirmed to Cyclingnews that Thompson resigned from her board member place in April and that Clignet’s contract was not renewed in February.
“Cynisca Biking confirms that Inga Thompson is not a member of the Cynisca board of administrators and can have no consulting or some other position with Cynisca,” the crew wrote in a press launch on Wednesday concerning Thompson’s departure, additionally stating, “The affiliation with Inga Thompson has affected Cynisca’s model and fame.”
Thompson joined Cynisca Biking’s board members, together with founder and CEO Jeff Jones, Chris Gutowsky, Adam Giles, Margaret Jones and Jim Watson, final October, three months after the crew was formally launched in France.
Thompson is a three-time Olympian and two-time podium finisher on the former ladies’s Tour de France, and US Bicycling Corridor of Fame inductee. She has been vocal in her opposition to transgender ladies competing within the ladies’s class of sport and is a part of the “save ladies’s sport” motion that goals to “defend” the ladies’s class.
Cynisca Biking has acknowledged that Thompson’s views don’t align with the crew’s.
“Ms. Thompson was invited to the board due to her spectacular palmarés and a wealth of information on worldwide race technique, techniques and coaching. If shared within the absence of politics, her data and expertise would profit many and advance biking for everybody. Nonetheless, she has determined to dedicate her time to excluding individuals which are in any other case at the moment eligible to compete in UCI occasions. She has additionally tried to make use of our crew as a platform for her political exercise,” stated Cynisca Biking.
“Ms. Thompson’s departure resolves a troubling battle of curiosity. Cynisca is an apolitical organisation, and her marketing campaign and strategies, by constitution, UCI Code of Ethics, US regulation and decency, are usually not and can by no means be Cynisca’s mission. To be clear, Ms. Thompson is entitled to her opinions and advocacy, however her strategies and private assaults are inconsistent with Cynisca’s mission to advance alternatives for girls. These strategies, well-documented on Ms. Thompson’s social media presence, embody dehumanisation of transgender individuals, spreading misinformation, demagoguery, and private assaults on anybody who opposes her views.”
Cynisca Biking additionally acknowledged that its affiliation with Thompson had affected the crew on varied ranges, together with its fame, protection within the media, and potential hiring of certified workers, and the crew alleged that Thompson had tried to intimidate workers.
“The affiliation with Ms. Thompson has affected Cynisca’s model and fame,” the crew wrote.
“Revered biking journalists have refused to cowl the crew, and certified and competent individuals have declined job provides out of worry of crossing or showing to align themselves along with her. Ms. Thompson has additionally tried to intimidate a number of present Cynisca workers members for difficult these strategies and their impact on Cynisca’s fame,” stated Cynisca Biking.
Cyclingnews reached out to Thompson for remark concerning Cynisca Biking’s press launch and allegations, nevertheless, she didn’t present a press release.
Thompson as an alternative despatched Cyclingnews the resignation letter that she emailed to Jones on April 28, which confirmed that she stepped down from her place with Cynisca to “serve with a soon-to-launch organisation Way forward for Biking,” a place that she felt would battle along with her position on as a board member at Cynisca.
Her resignation letter to Jones additionally outlined her concern about what she alleged was a attainable SafeSport violation of “bullying” and a “poisonous ambiance” throughout the programme.
In her resignation letter, Thompson wrote, “Please know that this resolution to affix Way forward for Biking was not a straightforward one to make. Sadly, I really feel serving on this position would create a battle of curiosity with my position serving on the board of Cynisca, a battle which I don’t need to inflict upon you or Cynisca. I’ve the utmost respect in your work and objectives with Cynisca, I tremendously recognize your management in advancing its acknowledged mission, and sincerely need to see it and the riders thrive and succeed.”
She added, “After cautious consideration for the wants to guard ladies’s biking and the wants of Cynisca, I’ve determined to step down from my place on the board of Cynisca.”
Cyclingnews reached out to Cynisca Biking concerning Thompson’s allegations of bullying and to request info concerning a attainable SafeSport criticism, and the crew’s consultant replied.
“I confirmed that there was no contact of any sort with the crew from SafeSport,” a consultant from Cynisca Biking stated. “I’ve by no means seen bullying and take that very significantly.”
Cyclingnews additionally reached out to the U.S. Heart for SafeSport to request extra info concerning a attainable criticism filed in relation to a rider or workers member related to Cynisca Biking, nevertheless, the organisation has not responded previous to publishing.
Transgender ladies are at the moment permitted to compete within the ladies’s class in biking in accordance with the insurance policies set by the Worldwide Biking Union (UCI) and USA Biking, and the steering of the Worldwide Olympic Committee (IOC), insurance policies that govern Cynicsa Biking as a UCI licenced crew within the US.
The UCI’s most up-to-date pointers got here into impact in 2022, which stipulate that transgender ladies athletes should declare that their gender id is feminine, exhibit that their complete testosterone degree in serum has been under 2.5 nmol/L for a interval of at the very least 24 months, after which stay at 2.5nmol/L all through the interval of desired eligibility to compete within the feminine class.
The UCI introduced in Might that it’s going to reopen session with riders and nationwide federations as regards to transgender athlete participation in biking occasions with three important goals: Contemplating trans athletes’ want to take part in sports activities, Listening to the voices and considerations of feminine athletes, and Contemplating the evolution of scientific data.
The federation goals to open discussions on the subsequent UCI Committee Assembly at Glasgow World Championships in August.
A consultant of Cynisca Biking informed Cyclingnews that it will proceed its position in growing ladies at occasions on the worldwide calendar.
“In a testomony to the standard of our riders, workers, sponsors, and supporters, we now have had steady and unimaginable help for our authentic mission. Our mission has been and all the time will likely be that of advancing ladies in any respect ranges of biking and doing so in a framework of equality, equity and tolerance. Regardless of the negativity fostered by Ms. Thompson, we’re succeeding and can push ahead sooner with out her.”
Cynisca Biking launched final July 2022 in partnership with USA Biking, appointing Clignet because the sports activities director. It outlined its goal as a “new completely ladies’s crew devoted to advancing ladies in biking on and off the bike” as a US-registered Continental crew primarily based in Château de Saint-Martory, France.
Clignet, a former world champion, can also be the co-president of each the French Affiliation of Feminine Cyclists (AFCC) and the CIC – Tour Féminin Worldwide des Pyrénées, and assistant director at CPA Ladies.
She is a part of the Union Cycliste Female, which additionally opposes transgender ladies from competing within the ladies’s class of sport.
Cynisca Biking informed Cyclingnews that Clignet joined to assist develop the programme, giving riders alternatives in racing and competitors on the worldwide degree. The crew additionally informed Cyclingnews that regardless of Clignet’s public place on opposing transgender athlete participation within the ladies’s class, that’s not why they parted methods. Cynisca didn’t disclose the small print as to why Clignet was not a part of the crew.
Clignet informed Cyclingnews that she felt they didn’t half methods on good phrases and that in her time at Cynicsa Biking, she skilled what she alleged as “impolite” and “aggressive” behaviour from workers members and that she was “handled in another way, bullied, ghosted after I reached out, and proven little respect.” Clignet alleged the state of affairs worsened at a crew camp in what she referred to as a “poisonous setting” the place a member of the board informed her that she was “fired” from the crew.
“Nobody deserves to be handled the way in which we have been handled. I used to be lied to and used for my expertise and data of professional racing, my contacts with sponsors, and race organisers, and to get the crew into European races. Inga was ostracized from virtually the very starting and was merely used for her title recognition,” Clignet stated.
“It has taken me months to course of this as I used to be tremendous enthusiastic about this venture and wished to make a change for the higher at this degree in ladies’s biking. I’m so disenchanted these objectives haven’t been met and the current dysfunctionality of the crew. There are some actually good riders on the crew who’ve numerous potential and a really quick profession span – I worry this expertise has wasted a useful and irreplaceable 12 months of their careers.”
Clignet acknowledged that the crew administration knew about her’s and Thompson’s positions on opposing transgender ladies within the ladies’s class of sport and their “goal to guard the ladies’s class”.
“A situation of [Inga Thompson] becoming a member of was that she could be allowed to maintain advocating for girls in ladies’s sports activities, however that she wanted to maintain it separate from Cynisca,” Clignet stated.
Cyclingnews contacted Cynisca Biking, and the crew denied that it accepted Clignet’s and Thompson’s views on transgender exclusion from the ladies’s class previous to bringing them on board. The crew additionally refuted Clignet’s allegations of “bullying” and a “poisonous setting” however has declined to touch upon the particular causes for her departure from the crew, citing an settlement between the 2 events not to take action.