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Feb 13, 2013

National level cycling in ruins

The war in the cycling world has been dubbed a battle of personalities, and the personality under attack is Emil Moreno, President of the Belize Cycling Association. There have been widespread cries for his resignation from major players in the sport, but he has held his ground behind the protection of an association constitution registered in 2006. But now those who want him out say that constitution is not valid, since there was another registered in 2012, and the most recent stands. It’s a complicated back and forth, and Moreno has the support of the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the Pan-american Cycling Association (COPACI). But will that backative be enough? Today the Ministry of Sports stepped into the fray for a meeting with the COPACI President. Freelance reporter Mike ‘Rudon has been following the story.  

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

The Minister of Sports Herman Longsworth stepped into the middle of the cycling controversy that has brought the sport to a screeching halt. This afternoon, Longsworth met with President of the Congress of the Pan American Cycling Association Jose Pelaez Rodriguez, who supports the constitution used by Emil Moreno and his executive. All indications are that the meeting didn’t go well.

 

Herman Longworth

Herman Longworth, Minister of Sports

“I agreed to meeting with Mister Jose Manuel Pelaez Rodriguez, who is the president of COPACI to try to see how we can dialogue to try to sort this issue out. it appears that Mister Pelaez Rodriguez is insistent on telling us how we must proceed with cycling in Belize and he is insistent that we must conform to whatever UCI says whether or not that is consistent with the laws of this country. And I refuse to do that; I absolutely refuse to do that.”

 

Arthur Saldivar

Via Phone: Arthur Saldivar, Attorney for Cycling Association

“The meeting basically broke down because the minister presented a very close-minded and dogmatic view of what he wants. Mister Pelaez; taking to suggest that if Mister Pelaez don’t conform to his position that UCI and the BCA as it now could basically vanish—could go to hell for all he cares. He basically ventilated that Belize is prepared to take whatever sanction is brought against it by UCI; that they don’t care and if they have to take a unilateral decision, they will.”

 

According to Saldivar, in the meeting Pelaez Rodriguez made it clear that there will be sanctions, and Longsworth didn’t hide from that probability during his press conference at the Sports Council today.

 

Jose Pelaez Rodriguez

Herman Longsworth

“I must be responsible and I must indicate to the general public that this may mean that the Belize Cycling Association will be sanctioned by UCI. That is a consequence of the move that will be made. The sentiment I get is that—and I’ve spoken to quite a few people in cycling—the sentiment I get is that should be a consideration here. And they feel that they don’t have any difficulty with that happening if that must dictate the move forward.”

 

And what is that way forward? The Sports Council has a plan which will be put into immediate effect.

 

Emil Moreno

Herman Longsworth

“As far as we are concerned, there is no cycling association at this moment. I am going to reconstitute the interim committee that some of you have heard me speak to before. And in good faith, I am going to use the very same formula that had been used before to institute that committee. I am going to invite Mister Moreno to have two seats on that committee. I am going to invite Mister Leslie to have two seats on that committee. The national sports council will have two seats. The only difference is that the national Olympics committee has indicated to us that they feel that because they play a bigger role as an orbiter in these kinds of things that they should not chair because it would be a conflict of interest if they were called to arbitrate any procedure here. So I have decided to ask Mister Melvin Torres to chair that interim committee.”

 

The timing is for elections to be held by the end of February, which gives the sports council two weeks to get its act together, and that’s if all the players fingered for the interim committee get on board. Mike Rudon for News Five.

 

The repercussions of sanction by UCI and COPACI are that Belizeans cyclists would not be allowed to participate in regional or international competitions. Foreign cyclists would also not be allowed to participate in local competitions.

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4 Responses for “National level cycling in ruins”

  1. Storm says:

    Too bad that athletic organizations are polluted by human vices.

  2. ceo says:

    I am sure it will break up soon just the way basketball did. Just the way soccer was not growing and we still do not have a field that is approved by the world governing body of football.

    No one in Belize does what it best for the country. They all do what is best for themselves; from the elected officials right down to the common man. The country will never progress this way.

  3. Belize says:

    Cycling have never been one of my favourite sports. Its too expensive and the riders are on too many drugs. ICycling will be ruin with the Dumbo minister Longsworth. He is letting emotions getting in the way of running an association. Only drug Dons and people like Santi can sustain a cycling team. Then these same cyclist end up working like slaves for these people. Real talk. Who care about cycling. No way someone can win a race in that fashion like how the guy won last year without taking drugs. Check the records. Lance Armstrong. We never had a good Drug testing systems in Belize to test cyclist. Do you know that Deon McCauley fail all his pysical and other test so he can’t make it to no professional league in the states?

  4. Ixchel Pol says:

    It was no secret that the political interest In Football, were a greedy, an octopus- like in there reach and grab for the funds.It was almost a Herculean task to dislodge them from office and – even to this day the process has not been completed….so again cycling is faced with the same type of self-servings, take -what -I- can attitude. There is no love for the sport nor for the opportunities that it offers for the nations youth. Too bad so many dreams crushed…so many hopes dashed because of a few bad men.

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