Cycling news - Racism should be treated on par with drug offences in cycling, says Kevin Reza
Kevin Resa has emerged as a voice advocating for progress and solidarity in cycling and believes racism should be treated on par with drug offences. Reza was the only black rider at last year's Tour de France, and was racially abused in 2017 by Gianni Moscon, who was suspended from the sport for just six weeks.
Reza has called on cycling's governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), to take action on racism as with drug cheats.
"I've known racism since I was young," Reza told Sky Sports. "I am destined to know it by my birth and my origins, it is like that. Unfortunately, it is painful and degrading. But we are used to living like that and it should not be a habit.
"They (UCI) manage to ban cheaters who take drugs, which is normal... I think that racism and discrimination in general must be on a par with these kinds of acts. I do not see any other action that can be taken against racist acts.
Team Vital Concept Cycling Club rider France's Kevin Reza waits prior to the 21st and last stage of the 107th edition of the Tour de France cycling race, 122 km between Mantes-la-Jolie and Champs Elysees Paris, on September 20, 2020
Image credit: Getty Images
"As a minimum, you would expect to see a racist get punished like a doper. I think this is one of the best solutions. It would show they're taking a strong stance in terms of supporting action against the various forms of discrimination within sport."
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"Since last year, it's been a kind of release and opening that was given to me," he says. "I grabbed it with both hands.
"It's just something that makes me want to be able to share and interact with people, those who may or may not be racist, but at least we can have a proper exchange and I can share my ideas and thoughts.
"And that's something that I enjoy since it's a subject that remains taboo and that we aren't used to talking about openly. I've been able to do that since the 2020 Tour de France.
"It's not like I couldn't do that for years, but I was given the opportunity to do it on the biggest race in the world. This is something that makes me happy and that also allows us to spark debate.
Gianni Moscon parte all'attacco in solitaria durante la Omloop Het Niewsblad 2021 - Getty Images
Image credit: Getty Images
The UCi said they "firmly condemn all forms of racism and discrimination" in a statement provided to Sky Sports News.
It adds: "On the contrary, via its Constitution, its Code of Ethics, its Regulations and its programs, it upholds the principles of inclusion and the respect of others."