In a press release from last week the UCI tried to make the Mitsubishi - Jartazi team responsible for the situation,
but it was clear that the UCI is behind the punishment of Vandenbroucke (VDB). The UCI stated that it was Mitsubishi - Jartazi
who proposed in a letter from February 12, that Vandenbroucke would not be part of the team roster at Pro - Tour races. But
the statement continued with: "It was on this basis that the Licenses Commission awarded the Mitsubishi-Jartazi team a wild
card licence. The UCI considers it essential that the Estonian team respects its commitments."
Fans of Frank Vandenbroucke are outraged that the winner of the 1999 edition of Liège - Bastogne - Liège is not allowed
to start at Pro - Tour races. VDB was banned for six months in 2002 for possesion of performance enhancing drugs and was also
punished by Belgian civil courts. At the moment there is no positive probe, nor an official investigation against the Belgian
rider, so its not clear why and on what basis the UCI wants to punish Vandenbroucke.
The VDB fans protested with banners at the start of last weeks 'Omloop Het Volk' and announced further protests. Yesterday
they started a petition saying: "We the fans are shocked, dissapointed and outraged
about the UCI's discriminating decision against Frank. This is the reason that we as fans decided to organise a petition.
Our goal is that VDB will keep all his rights."
The VDB fans say the UCI is handling things with double standards: "Are they also
going to ban 50 former sinners to start in the near future and why can they act like saints to ride for a Pro – Tour
team with the blessing of the UCI? And shouldn't they make trouble and start to act in the surrounding of the riders like
soigneurs, mechanics and team managers?"
According to the fans the UCI decision is extremely dangerous for all riders: "because
no cyclist would be certain tomorrow to be permitted at the start of a race and to continue with his profession !"