American Women’s Cycling Team Suspended for Disguising Mechanic as Rider to Avoid Race Disqualification

Credits: The Columbian

A private U.S. women’s cycling team, Cynisca Cycling, faced disciplinary action after attempting to field a mechanic as a certified racer in the Argenta Classic race in Belgium in July 2023. Due to illness, the team lacked the required number of riders.

In an attempt to circumvent this, sports director Danny Van Haute tried to pass off team mechanic Moira Barrett as a registered rider by having her dress in cycling gear and falsely identifying her to race officials.

Barrett was instructed to present herself as the team’s fifth rider at the starting line. However, the fraud was discovered, and the team was prevented from starting the race. A complaint was filed with the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), resulting in disciplinary measures.

American Women’s Cycling Team (Credits: NDTV)

Van Haute was identified as the main perpetrator and suspended from cycling activities until December 2025. He was also fined, and Cynisca Cycling terminated all current and future relationships with him. The team clarified that other management and staff were unaware of the deception.

Barrett received a suspension from cycling activities until September 2024 and had her relationship with Cynisca terminated.

The four team members who lied about Barrett’s identity received sanctions under UCI regulations, including a reprimand. The team was fined and suspended from the next UCI International Calendar race. All decisions can be appealed.

Cynisca Cycling stated that they do not condone such behavior and considered it a one-time mistake by a rogue director. They cooperated with the investigation and accepted the need for disciplinary action.

I'm Richard Rosales, I cover political news and ongoing US elections.