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Greta Richioud (the real one)

Photo: Arne Mill / frontalvision.com / IMAGO

The disciplinary commission of the world cycling association UCI has punished a strange fraud.

Two employees of the U.S. women's cycling team Cynisca Cycling were sanctioned after a mechanic was disguised as a rider at Belgium's Argenta Classic one-day race last year in order to get the minimum number of starters for the event.

Sporting director Danny Van Haute is said to have instructed drivers Anna Hicks, Cara O'Neil, Katherine Sarkisov and Claire Windsor to lie about the absence of their teammate Greta Richioud.

When questioned, the quartet of drivers said that Richioud was ill.

Mechanic Moira Barrett then disguised herself as the fifth driver, complete with a face mask, to appear at the start and sign the starting sheet - an attempt to deceive the commissioners.

Van Haute suspended for a long time

Van Haute was suspended from all cycling activities until the end of 2025 and must pay a fine - he is no longer part of Cynisca.

The team has been banned from the next race on the UCI calendar and must also pay.

Mechanic Barrett is not allowed to work in cycling until September 1st of this year.

For the drivers, however, there was only one warning.

The decision can be appealed to the International Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).