The UCI today announced that it would not approve Cadel Evan’s recent adoption of a twelve year old boy from Ethiopia. The governing body of the sport of professional cycling citing missing paperwork and non-compliance with certain legal specifications.
“We are happy for Cadel Evans and offer our warm congratulations, however, the rules cannot be ignored,” said UCI spokesman Andre Blague. “The proper documentation was not provided, nor have we had the opportunity to examine the child before approval.”
While the reigning Tour de France champion and his wife Chiara Passerini had completed all the necessary adoption papers, they had apparently overlooked notifying the UCI or complying with the appropriate bylaws.
“Mr Evans is a professional cyclist and as such he is bound by the UCI guidelines,” said Blague. “There can be no exceptions.” Evans was granted a two week extension to gain the approvals by January 17th.
Evans and his lawyers are now drafting financial documentation. The accounting firm Ernest & Young will review Evan’s finances and ensure that funds are deposited in the bank to ensure at least three months of child care and support for the child.
In addition, a UCI commissar has been dispatched to Evan’s home in Monaco to verify that the adopted boy meets stringent UCI regulations for height and weight. “We’re not suggesting Evans return the child. We weigh Evans time trial bike so it certainly makes sense that we weigh his child,” said Blague. “Remember, there’s a lot of malnutrition in Ethiopia. It’s essential that we make sure that he doesn’t fall below UCI minimum weight.”
Blague denied that the UCI would administer any blood testing of the adopted child to establish base parameters for future re-evaluation.
UCI president Patrick McQuaid did not address the Evan adoption issue directly but offered his hearty approval on a more personal level. “Cycling is one big family and we’re happy to welcome a new member,” said McQuaid. “I’m sure Cadel will get this sorted out quickly.”
Though it has never been applied before, the UCI rule is question is Article 13.07.01 that states in part: “any and all adoptions of a child by an athlete holding a UCI race license must first meet the approval of the UCI. Compliance with adoption and governmental agency laws and regulations DOES NOT constitute or supersede UCI approvals.”
So far, Evans and his wife have avoided all public comment on the situation with the UCI but Michael Ahearn, a lawyer representing Evans, called the UCI’s position “preposterous and inhumane.”