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Danika Schroeter Disqualification Update

August 10, 2005 – The CCA’s ruling still stands a week after 2004 Canada Cup Champion and former 2005 series leader Danika Schroeter (BC, Giant) was disqualified for failing to wear her leader’s jersey at the Canada Cup Downhill #3 in Fernie, B.C.

In an e-mail to Pedal Magazine, the CCA Competition Coordinator, Rémi Bérubé, wrote that the CCA chose not to fine Schroeter’s team the 2,500 to 5,000 CHF (Swiss Francs) specified in the CCA rulebook, but her disqualification stands.

UCI regulation 1.3.072, Section Four, in the <http://www.canadian-cycling.com/English/information/rules/2005 Part 1 General Regs -RevisedArial pdf.pdf>CCA Rulebook states that a rider not wearing the leader’s jersey of a UCI series is not permitted to start and faces a loss of 50 points in the series concerned. In addition, the rider’s team is fined 2,500 to 5,000 CHF.

Controversy developed in this case when Schroeter was originally given clearance to race, despite not wearing the jersey, and was later disqualified.

According to Schroeter, an official at the start told her she was supposed to be wearing the jersey. Schroeter said she asked what would happen if she raced without the jersey, and the official replied she could be fined. Schroeter then said: “If you’re going to fine me, tell me now and I’ll ride down another trail.” Schroeter said that after a discussion between officials, she was given permission to start.

Schroeter originally believed the disqualification came about because she thought fellow competitor and eventual winner of the race Fionn Griffiths (GBR, Norco) lodged an official protest, but Griffiths said she merely asked officials for clarification of the rules, as she had been told in the past that the consequences of failing to wear the jersey were serious.

However, the CCA considered Griffiths’ inquiry to be a protest, as a letter sent to Schroeter by the CCA refers to it as: “The protest lodged by Fionn Griffiths after the event.”

According to Jim Bratrud, a commissaire who officiated during the women’s downhill event, Schroeter’s claims before and after the race didn’t add up. Bratrud said Schroeter told officials at the start that she had not received a leader’s jersey at the previous Canada Cup event in Mont Tremblant, Que., while after the event, Schroeter said she had received a jersey, but forgot it.

Bérubé wrote that he personally gave a leader’s jersey to Schroeter at the Mont Tremblant event and that it was because of the discrepancies in her explanations that “her claim has been dismissed.”

However, in an e-mail to Pedal Magazine, Schroeter wrote: “Sthe bottom line is I never said that [I didn’t receive a jersey in Mont Tremblant].”

Regardless of the confusion, Schroeter is still in the hunt for the overall title, which she feared was lost after losing the 200 points she would have won in Fernie. The Canada Cup Downhill Champion will be decided using the best three of four results and currently, with one event left Griffiths has two wins and one second place. Schroeter has one win and one second. If Schroeter wins the final event in Sun Peaks, B.C. this coming weekend, both racers will be tied at 575 points, with the tie-break going to the winner of the final.

Bratrud and Bérubé both said problems like Schroeter’s could be avoided if more managers and racers attended the managers’ meetings, where the topic of leader’s jerseys is always mentioned. If Schroeter or her manager had been at the meeting, Bratrud would have been able to provide her with a jersey, said the commissaire.

Bratrud and Bérubé are concerned about the low numbers of people attending the downhill managers’ meetings. For example, according to Bérubé, only two people showed up for the downhill managers’ meeting at the National Championships in June. Numbers were also low at the meeting in Fernie. “It’s important to be there,” he said.

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