August 19, 2006 — Representatives of the Canadian Cycling Association and Danika Schroeter met yesterday as part of the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada’s resolution facilitation process to arrive at a settlement of disciplinary action taken against Ms. Schroeter by the CCA.
Ms. Schroeter had been suspended for three months following an incident during the podium ceremony during the national downhill championships in Whistler, BC, on July 23. Ms. Schroeter appealed that suspension and brought to light inconsistencies between the CCA’s discipline policy, and the current UCI rules.
While the CCA acknowledges these inconsistencies, Ms. Schroeter also acknowledges that her actions were in contravention of the rules and merit suspension. The two parties have therefore arrived at a mutually acceptable compromise whereby the CCA will allow Ms. Schroeter to compete as a member of the Canadian team at the 2006 mountain bike world championships in Rotorua, New Zealand.
In return, Ms. Schroeter will issue a public apology for her actions and she will apologize in person to her teammates in Rotorua. She will serve her three-month suspension in September 2006, and March and April 2007.
It is important to underline that, in arriving at this compromise, both parties have demonstrated that they have the best interests of cycling at heart and do not wish to prolong the final decision any longer. Should Ms. Schroeter have pursued her appeal further she would have been able to compete at world championships anyway, though under a cloud of impending suspension, which would serve neither Ms. Schroeter’s nor the CCA’s interests.
In addition, the CCA would like to reinforce that disciplinary action was initiated against Ms. Schroeter because of the way she used the national championships podium ceremonies to air her views in an offensive manner, not because of the issue she chose to protest. All Canadian Cycling Association members are fully entitled to hold and express whatever opinions they choose, but are obligated to express them in a moderate and respectful manner.
Below is a copy of Ms. Shroeter’s letter:
This letter is my formal apology for the events that took place at the Canadian Championships on July 23rd, 2006. This apology is intended not only to the CCA but to all cyclists as well. I have already contacted my fellow competitors to apologize directly.
What happened at Nationals was regrettable. The message upon my t-shirt was inappropriate, insulting and directed negative attention towards my sport. I feel horrible for my role in what happened. And I extend my sincere apology to the CCA, my fellow racers, and the cycling community.
Also, for other racers, please learn from this unfortunate incident. Racing can be an emotional experience, but it is important to act responsibly and with forethought. Clarify for yourself why you race, educate yourself on the rules you have agreed to follow, and make sure you live up to those standards.
Most importantly, I want people to know that competitive cycling offers positive experiences and opportunities for personal and community growth. I hope my actions did not deter others from pursuing competitive cycling goals and aspirations.
It is my intention to learn from this experience, to become a better cyclist, and a better ambassador for the sport.