On Tuesday, The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announced that the disciplinary proceedings against Madis Mihkels and Gerben Thijssen have concluded, following racist social media posts.
Two cyclists from the Intermarché-Circus-Wanty team were withdrawn from the Gree-Tour of Guangxi following an incident related to a racist gesture and its subsequent posting on social media. Mihkels, a 20-year-old Estonian cyclist, was captured in a photograph making a racially insensitive slanted eyes gesture while laughing, just a day before the commencement of the final men’s WorldTour race of the season. This image was shared on Instagram Stories by his teammate Gerben Thijssen, the Belgian sprinter that was to lead the team in the flat stages in China.
According to the UCI, “Both riders acknowledged the violation of article 12. 4.004 of the UCI Regulations and accepted the sanctions proposed by the UCI. Besides the immediate withdrawal from the Gree-Tour of Guangxi, in China, by their team, they shall each pay a fine and physically attend an educational course on the fight against discrimination,” the statement read. “Upon ratification of the proposed sanctions by the UCI Disciplinary Commission, the proceedings were settled by means of an Acceptance of Consequences pursuant to article 12.6.019 of the UCI Regulations.”