Cycling Ireland Statement - 2023 Paracycling Road World Championships

Cycling Ireland is aware of an article published by the Sunday Independent on September 10th regarding issues experienced by Cycling Ireland paracycling athletes at the 2023 UCI World Championships and can release the following statement:

The 2023 Paracycling World Championships took place in Scotland from August 9th to 13th and Cycling Ireland’s High Performance Unit initiated a standard debrief and review process after the conclusion of the events.

While this review is ongoing, Cycling Ireland has examined the particular issues raised in the Sunday Independent article of September 10th and acknowledges that there were significant deficiencies in some of the arrangements and supports for the athletes mentioned.

Cycling Ireland secured accommodation for the paracycling road team in Dumfries over five months prior to the event and on March 7th our staff enquired with the property owner regarding accessibility. We were assured that people with limited mobility had previously used the property with no issues and Cycling Ireland therefore secured the accommodation in the belief it would be fully accessible. However, we acknowledge that it was not accessible for wheelchair users and that a more thorough check should have been carried out.

We apologise to the athletes affected.

The paracycling team was also affected by a COVID-19 outbreak in the days before the competition. Cycling Ireland followed all medical advice during this time and are satisfied that the necessary measures were taken and that the outbreak was effectively contained. However, we acknowledge that communication with athletes during this period should have been better in this regard.

To date, our review suggests that a contributing factor to these issues was the limited staff and resources available to support the paracycling team. Cycling Ireland is committed to delivering a world class paracycling programme that is firmly integrated within our High Performance Unit and wider organisation. We will continue to strive to resource this programme better.

We will also continue to review these issues and ensure feedback from affected athletes will contribute to our programme development.

Cycling Ireland would like to apologise once again to those affected and to assure all our athletes that we will continue to endeavour to provide the best support possible.