Jody Cundy: UCI should be 'embarrassed' by Paralympics error

By Elizabeth HudsonBBC Sport
UCI blunder embarrassing - Cundy

Para-cyclist Jody Cundy has criticised the UCI for paperwork errors which resulted in the sport initially not being included in the 2020 Paralympics.

The governing body missed the 28 July deadline for the Tokyo Games, sending its application to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) last week.

Their late submission was not heard at Tuesday's IPC governing board meeting.

They have to re-submit it early in the new year and Cundy said: "Hopefully they're embarrassed this has happened."

The 35-year-old told BBC Sport: "When you hand in your homework late it isn't great, but this is handing in your homework late on the biggest stage of all and it is pretty embarrassing for an international governing body.

"Hopefully it gives them a kick up the bum."

Jody Cundy
Born 14/10/78, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire
Had right foot amputated when he was three
Competed in three Paralympic Games as a swimmer, winning seven medals, including three golds
Switched to cycling in 2006
Won two golds at the Beijing Paralympics in the team sprint and the kilo
Won gold in the kilo at the 2009, 2011 and 2012 Para-Cycling Track World Championships

Cycling is one of eight sports which was not accepted in the first phase and they must now wait until the IPC governing board's meeting in Abu Dhabi on 30 January and 1 February when the final programme will be announced.

A maximum of 23 sports will be included in the programme with 16 already getting the nod on Tuesday.

But while Cundy remains hopeful that Para-cycling will not miss out completely on the Tokyo Games, he is frustrated by the UCI's attitude to the sport.

"The UCI look after so many disciplines - road, track, mountain bike, BMX and Para-cycling and when you look at the website, Para-cycling is at the bottom of the list and sadly that is how it feels sometimes," he added.

"Road cycling and women's cycling are on the way up but Para-cycling still seems to be stuck in the gutter.

"All we want is the sport to grow and develop as well as we think it can but sometimes it almost feels we are in a stop zone.

"In London, Para-cycling was at the forefront of the GB medal haul and the support we had was a huge draw. To think that in 2020 we might not be part of that huge movement would be shocking."

Great Britain's Para-cycling medal haul
Athens 2004: Gold: 3, Silver: 2, Bronze: 2. Position in medal table: 4th
Beijing 2008: Gold: 17, Silver: 3, Bronze: 0. Position in medal table: 1st
London 2012: Gold: 8, Silver: 5, Bronze: 5. Position in medal table: 1st

In a statement, the UCI said: "We will work closely with the IPC and its governing board ahead of its next meeting in early 2015 where it will decide the full list of sports that will feature in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

"The UCI remains fully committed to the promotion of Para-cycling and look forward to a positive dialogue with the IPC over the next few months to ensure that cycling continues to play its part in helping the Paralympic Games go from strength to strength."

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