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Mar 12, 2013

The dust is yet to settle in the cycling community

This past weekend the Smart Belmopan Cycling Classic was held and in a few weeks cyclists will take to the road for the annual Holy Saturday Cross Country race. But these major races are still overshadowed by uncertainty which was brought to the fore over a conflict between the Belize Cycling Association and the Ministry of Sports. In a nutshell, Minister of Sports Herman Longsworth refused to acknowledge the validity of the Belize Cycling Association or the Constitution which governed it. Longsworth convened an interim committee to take the sport forward to elections but today that decision is still up in the air. Today News Five went looking for an update to the cycling controversy and freelance reporter Mike Rudon has the story.

 

Emil Moreno – Disputed President, BCA

“Right after that, the National Sports Council and the Ministry of Sports sent out a constitution that they had to the international body. The international body reviewed that constitution and sent back a response to that constitution saying that it was not in conformity with the regulations of the UCI. At that point, we were called in by the national Olympic Committee to come in and see how we could move cycling forward.”

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

Emil Moreno

And that is apparently where it stands today, with the National Olympic Committee at the helm of cycling, but at least to some extent working along with the Belize Cycling Association. A significant part of the controversy surrounds the Constitution which governs the Belize Cycling Association.

 

Herman Longsworth, Minister of Sports

“The 2006 constitution hasn’t been accepted. The procedure outlined in that constitution has been accepted as a procedure to determine a management body as such for cycling who will then be responsible for determining which constitution or which statues the cycling association then adopts. So really we have agreed—through a lot of dialogue—that the cyclists are comfortable that they can follow that procedure providing they are comfortable that it is good and the Sports Council oversees the actual procedure to determine who will be the body that they will then give the go-ahead to develop a proper constitution that they in turn will have to approve.”

 

Emil Moreno

“That constitution stands. That is what we also agreed that in the way forward, the 2006 constitution remains.”

 

Mike Rudon

“There is no move on the part of the committee to draft a new constitution?”

 

Emil Moreno

“Not that I know about.”

 

Herman Longsworth

And even more interesting than a difference of opinion over the constitution is assertion by Minister Longsworth that at this point there is no Belize Cycling Association. Moreno insists that there is, since as far as he is aware no interim committee was set up.

 

Herman Longsworth

“There is, as far as the national Sports Council is concerned, no Cycling Association at this time. There is an organization that UCI still recognizes. We can’t tell UCI what to do. we here trying to bring this to an amicable a solution as possible, have said okay we have been dialoguing with everybody involved and we have no difficulty in following the procedure that is set out—which is similar procedure used all over the world. We said we have no problem with that we are comfortable that it is developed in a manner that is open and democratic. And then when the body, the cycling body, decides on who they want as its executive, then that executive will be tasked in determining what the constitution will look like. And then they will have to take that back to their general body for them to approve. And then that will be the constitution the National Sports Council will accept.”

 

Emil Moreno

“We were advised by our international body that we must not sit down in that type of a meeting to compromise the Belize Cycling Association with them. And in that fashion, we have decided that we will abstain from being part of that interim committee. All the races that are taking place ever since Valentine or the races thereafter have been under the auspices of the Belize Cycling Association, where we need to sanction those events.”

 

About the only thing that Moreno and Longsworth agree on is the leadership role that the National Olympic Committee is playing in cycling right now, and the fact that elections will be held right after the Cross Country race. Mike Rudon for News Five.

 

Currently, registration is ongoing for the election, and BCA President Emil Moreno has confirmed that he will be running again. Since the Constitution which is accepted by the International Cycling Union currently stands, there has been no sanction on Belize as regards international participation in competitions.

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