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Quebec Controversy Continues – Agreda Files Complaint Against Labonté

by John Symon

August 27, 2011 (Quebec City, QC) – There are more reverberations in the Quebec cycling road race scene that began with controversial 53km Quebec Criterium Championships fiasco in Sainte-Agathe on July 31 where Brett Tivers from New Zealand helped his teammate Miguel Agreda Rojas (Garneau-Club Chaussures-Norton Rose) to victory. The controversy centered on the role Tivers played in the race.

“We have allowed non-Quebecer athletes to compete in such events in order to benefit from the event,” FQSC (Quebec Cycling Federation) Director General, Louis Barbeau told Pedal. “But it’s not right for [a foreigner] to alter the outcome of the race. While the FQSC reaction is not finalized yet, we expect to change the rules before the next championships.” – read more HERE.

More controversy ensued when on August 7 at Grand Prix de Vaudreuil-Soulanges, a truck crossed the finish line with the pack complicating any photo analysis of where the riders placed, prompting organizer Guy Vaillancourt to claim that cyclists in road races in should wear electronic chips. By the end of the day on Aug. 11, the FQSC website had still not yet posted the results – read more HERE.

Things escalated when the Garneau Team boycotted the St-Basile GP on Aug. 21 following alleged death threats against Louis Garneau himself reportedly issued by Jean-Yves Labonté, the race organizer and Rocky Mountain team coach earlier this year. The 2011 Quebec Team Time Trial Championships held on the previous day were also organized by Labonté – read more HERE.

Now the crit champ, Miguel Agreda Rojas (Garneau-Club Chaussures-Norton Rose), has filed a formal complaint against Labonté for “racist and obscene’ remarks made toward him and team mate Brett Tivers of New Zealand.

Agreda (people from Peru and other Hispanic countries tend to be known by their middle name, not their last name) wrote Pedal on Friday, Aug. 26 to say that:

“I’ve sent a claim to the FQSC [Quebec federation] against Jean Yves Labonté. He was screaming at my teammate Brett and myself during the race, calling us ‘f***ing foreigners.’ Everybody who was present at the finish line heard it, but nobody, not even the FQSC, did anything about it.”

“The claim was sent more than a week ago, and since then I have not had any news. I’m afraid that the FQSC will act as always (not doing anything, waiting for people to forget it).”

The complaint, written in French, was sent to the Barbeau and copied to the CCA. We’ve translated Agreda’s letter for benefit of Pedal readers, and have provided the original French version as well.

English version

Mr. Louis Barbeau
Quebec Cycling Federation
4545, avenue Pierre-de Coubertin
PO Box 1000 – Station. “M”
Montreal (Quebec) H1V 3R2

SUBJECT: Filing a formal complaint

Sir,

I wish you hereby signify my intention to file a formal complaint against Mr. Jean-Yves Labonté, coach of the Rocky Mountain team, who made insulting and racist remarks towards me at Championship Quebec elite criterium in Ste-Agathe on July 31, 2011.

When I crossed the finish line, Mr. Labonté, who was standing near the FQSC trailer, yelled at me and to my teammate, Brett Tivers, racist and obscene remarks [that could be translated as ‘f***ing foreigners.’]

Several people, including Mr. Christian Leduc and Mrs. Josée Robitaille, of the FQSC were within earshot, and Mr. Leduc has confirmed to me to have clearly understood. Ms. Robitaille, close as she was, could not failed to hear it, too.

In addition to being socially unacceptable, such insults uttered in a foul and rude language go against the code of ethics of the FQSC, as evidenced by the following items, drawn from the Consolidated Rules of Conduct for licensed members FQSC (Road and Track) (athletes, coaches, organizers, directors, commissioners, parents …)

“Acting at all times with civility in the presence of athletes, commissioners, parents, organizers and members of the public. In case of problems or differences of opinion, resolve all disagreements with due process. No threat to athletes, curators, organizers, spectators will be tolerated.

Respect the coaches, athletes and their opposing supporters.

Be concerned with the image of the FQSC in public places (attitude, waste …)
Remain in control of oneself at all times and take full responsibility for one’s words and actions. Show no physical or verbal violence toward anyone. Refrain from excessive behaviour on the sites of the race, velodrome, platforms …

Strictly observe the rules and the charter of fair play. ”

In the same vein, the Guide des sports cyclistes 2011, chapter 8, section 8.17 Discipline, pp. 20-21, states:

“8.17 DISCIPLINE
A rider who is at fault for unsporting behaviour, for fighting, committing fraud or improper action, having an inappropriate behaviour in public, insulting a Commissioner, etc, may be disqualified by the Chief Commissioner at the race. A more severe penalty, depending on the size of the offense, may also be imposed by the Steering Committee. ”

While coaches and / or team managers are not mentioned in that article, are we not entitled to expect that these same rules also apply to them, especially considering their position authority and role model to members of their team?

Under the provisions stipulated in the Consolidated Rules of conduct for licensed members FQSC (Road and Track) (athletes, coaches, organizers, directors, commissioners, parents …), I hereby formally filed a complaint against Jean-Yves Labonté and request that the Quebec Cycling Federation applied the penalties for each of the articles of the Consolidation which he violated.

Thank you for your attention to this complaint and the diligence with which you treat this case in order to prevent the recurrence of such situations that harm the image of cycling sports in Quebec.

Yours respectfully,

Miguel Agreda
Cyclist

c.c. Canadian Cycling Association

———

French Version

Monsieur Louis Barbeau
FÉDÉRATION QUÉBÉCOISE DES SPORTS CYCLISTES
4545, avenue Pierre-de Coubertin
Casier postal 1 000 – Succ. « M »
Montréal (Québec) H1V 3R2

OBJET :     Dépôt d’une plainte officielle

Monsieur,

Je désire par la présente vous signifier mon intention de déposer une plainte officielle contre M. Jean-Yves Labonté, entraîneur de l’équipe Rocky Mountain, qui a proféré des insultes et remarques racistes à mon égard, le 31 juillet 2011, lors Championnat du Québec critérium élite, à Ste-Agathe.

Lorsque j’ai passé le fil d’arrivée, M. Labonté, qui se tenait non loin de la roulotte de la Fédération, a crié, à mon endroit et à celui de mon coéquipier, Brett Tivers, l’insulte raciste et ordurière « crisses d’importés ».

Plusieurs personnes, dont M. Christian Leduc et Mme Josée Robitaille, de la Fédération, étaient à portée de voix et M. Leduc m’a confirmé l’avoir clairement entendu. Mme Robitaille, à proximité comme elle l’était, n’a pu manquer de l’entendre également.

En plus d’être socialement inacceptables, de telles insultes, proférées dans un langage ordurier et grossier, vont à l’encontre du code d’éthique de la FQSC, comme en font foi les articles suivants, tirés de la Codification des règles de conduite pour les membres licenciés FQSC (route et piste) (athlètes, entraîneurs, organisateurs, administrateurs, commissaires, parents…) :

« Agir en tout temps avec civisme en présence d’athlètes, commissaires, parents, organisateurs ou personnes du public. En cas de problème ou de divergence d’opinion, régler toutes discordes selon la procédure établie. Aucune menace à l’égard des athlètes, commissaires, organisateurs, spectateurs ne sera tolérée.

Respecter les entraîneurs, athlètes adverses et leurs supporteurs.

Être soucieux de l’image de la FQSC dans les lieux publics (attitude, déchets…)
Rester maître de soi en tout temps et assumer l’entière responsabilité de ses paroles et de ses actions. Ne manifester aucune violence physique ou verbale envers quiconque. Ne pas avoir de comportement excessif sur les sites de course, vélodrome, estrades…

Observer rigoureusement les règles établies et la charte de l’esprit sportif. »

Dans le même esprit, le Guide des sports cyclistes 2011, chapitre 8, article 8.17 Discipline, pp. 20-21, stipule :

« 8.17 DISCIPLINE
Un coureur qui sera pris en défaut pour comportement antisportif, pour s’être battu, avoir commis une fraude ou un geste irrégulier, avoir une conduite déplacée en public, avoir injurié un commissaire, etc., pourra être disqualifié par le commissaire en chef de l’épreuve. Une pénalité plus sévère, selon l’importance de l’infraction, pourra également être imposée par le Comité directeur. »

Bien que les entraîneurs et/ou directeurs sportifs ne soient pas mentionnés dans ce dernier article, ne sommes-nous pas en droit de nous attendre à ce que ces mêmes règles s’appliquent également à eux, surtout si l’on considère leur position d’autorité et de modèle auprès des membres de leur équipe?

En vertu des dispositions stipulées dans la Codification des règles de conduite pour les membres licenciés FQSC (route et piste) (athlètes, entraîneurs, organisateurs, administrateurs, commissaires, parents…), je dépose officiellement par la présente une plainte contre Jean-Yves Labonté et demande que la Fédération Québécoise des Sports Cyclistes applique les sanctions prévues pour chacun des articles de ladite Codification auquel il a contrevenu.

Je vous remercie de l’attention que vous porterez à la présente plainte et de la diligence avec laquelle vous traiterez cette affaire afin d’éviter que ne reproduise de telles situations qui nuisent à l’image des sports cyclistes au Québec.

Veuillez agréer, Monsieur, l’expression de mes sentiments distingués.

Miguel Agreda
Coureur cycliste

c.c.    Association cycliste canadienne





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