Team RadioShack’s fashion faux pax in the finale to the 2010 Tour de France has not gone unnoticed by the UCI, which on Monday announced that it will open disciplinary proceedings against the team “for breaching the regulations governing riders’ clothing.”
The team showed up for the start of stage 20 wearing black kit bearing the number 28, for the estimated 28 million people worldwide living with cancer, as part of Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong campaign against the disease.
But the UCI took umbrage and required the team’s riders to change back into their approved kit, delaying the start of the stage — and in the process attracting a great deal of attention to Team RadioShack and Livestrong.
The kit got even more attention when RadioShack’s riders and staff wore it on the podium, as they collected the prize for winning the team competition.
On Monday, the UCI announced that it would not let the matter drop.
“The UCI regrets that an initiative for a cause as worthy as the fight against cancer was not coordinated beforehand with the commissaires and organizers of the event. This could have been done whilst remaining within the rules,” read a statement from the governing body, posted on the UCI website.
“Team RadioShack’s incorrect behavior 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.”
The team broke the rules once more by wearing the black kit on the podium, “having been instructed not to,” the statement continued.
RadioShack director Johan Bruyneel also drew the UCI’s ire with a Twitter post on the matter.
“Ok people! Now it’s official!” he tweeted. “To be a race commisar (sic), you don’t need brains but only know the rules! Their motto: “c’est le reglement!”
The UCI statement said the governing body “deplores the declarations made by Mr. Johan Bruyneel who gravely offended all the commissaires working in cycling. His remarks are utterly unacceptable, and Mr. Bruyneel will be called upon to answer for his comments before the UCI Disciplinary Commission.”
Acknowledging that RadioShack’s costume change was intended to highlight Armstrong’s crusade against cancer, the UCI statement added, any fines levied as a consequence of the disciplinary proceedings will be donated to the Swiss Cancer League.