Female cyclists accuse Belgian team manager of inappropriate behaviour

Three former members of the female cycling team

Health Mate Ladies have reported the teams Belgian Manager to the International Cycling Union (UCI). The women accuse Patrick Van Gansen of psychologic abuse and inappropriate sexual behaviour towards them. Patrick Van Gansen denies any wrong-doing.    

The Israeli cyclist Ester Meisels broke the news that she and her former colleagues Sara Mustonen and Chloë Turblin had lodged a complaint with the UCI.    

“I have decided to leave the team due to the abuse from and inappropriate behaviour by the team manager”, Ester Meisels wrote.

“The UCI has already received several complaints against him and I hope that it will take action. I will keep my distance until then. My mental health and my self-respect are more important that cycle racing”, the Israeli cyclist added.

Two former team mates, Sara Mustonen and Chloë Turbin have also lodged complaints against Patrick Van Gansen with the UCI.  Sara Mustonen talks of psychological and sexual intimidation and expresses her concern for the well-being of those still in the team managed by Patrick Van Gansen.    

“Some of them are not yet ready to stand up for themselves as they are still very dependent on him. That is the problem. He encourages the girls to dream of becoming professional cyclists. They are currently afraid of losing their contract”.      

Patrick Van Gansen denies any wrong-doing. In a statement, the UCI Commissioner Philippe Mariën told journalists “I am aware this case and is all I can say is that it is a sensitive issue. Consequently I won’t give any further comment”.