In the wake of three formal complaints of abuse levelled against Health Mate Ladies Team manager Patrick Van Gansen at the UCI Ethics Commission, six more former riders have come forward corroborating the accusations that include verbal aggression and sexually inappropriate remarks.
Cyclingnews reported on Tuesday that Esther Meisels, Sara Mustonen and Chloë Turblin all left the Health Mate Ladies Team in the past three months.
Meisels and Mustonen, along with Turblin’s father, had separately filed three formal complaints against Van Gansen with the UCI Ethics Commission. Their complaints centre around the UCI Code of Ethics: Appendix 1 that covers protection of physical and mental integrity – sexual harassment and abuse, and specifically point to Article 2.1 concerning psychological abuse and Article 2.3 concerning sexual abuse. Turblin’s father initially filed his complaint citing bad treatment and illegal work.
Five riders have since written an open letter alleging that they had similar experiences while racing on the team managed by Van Gansen. The letter was penned to the Dutch news outlet WielerFlits and published on Wednesday.
In addition, retired professional rider Liz Hatch corroborated the allegations in a post on Twitter and in a detailed story on Het Nieuwsblad, citing similar experiences with the 54-year-old Belgian.
This brings the total number of former riders alleging abuse and inappropriate behaviour by Patrick Van Gansen to nine. Van Gansen has rejected all claims of abuse and has written a statement to Cyclingnews that he intends to take legal action.
Tara Gins writes open letter on behalf of five athletes
You can read more at Cyclingnews.com