Zim Cycling, HCC clash

HARARE - Disgruntled  Harare Cycling Club (HCC) have accused Cycling Zimbabwe (CZ) of unfair treatment of their rider Bright Chipongo.

The United-States-based rider was omitted from Zimbabwe’s squad for the 2015 African Games to be held in Congo-Brazzaville in September despite dominating his category in the last two years.

Mountain biker, Albert Kerievha and road racer Nkulumo Dube a will represent the country in the men’s cycling while Skye Davidson and Helen Mitchell will spearhead the women’s category.

Linda Davidson will double as coach and team manager while Ant Greenway is the mechanic.

The Daily News has seen emails between CZ president Andrew Donaldson and HCC chairman Jose Dias in which the two officials were involved in a lengthy discussion over Chipongo’s omission.

“We are aware that Albert is a very good MTB (mountain bike) rider, however, if you are a good rugby player it does not mean you are a good soccer player, just because they are both played with the ball,” Dias said in one of the email to Donaldson.

“We also note that Albert (Kerievha ) is a member of the team manager’s (Linda Davidson) club and feel that her recommendations to SRC may have been biased.

“I recall advising you earlier this year that you should appoint a board of selectors consisting of individuals from various clubs, with good knowledge and understanding of the sport to select a team for national representation, because you and most of CZ committee lack the knowledge and experience to accurately and impartially make these selections.”

Dias further comments on the alleged victimisation of Bright Chipongo, who is currently racing in the United States in preparations for the African Games.

“After our many exchanges earlier this year regarding your victimisation and abuse of your position by preventing Bright Chipongo and other cyclists from participating in African Continental Championships earlier this year, we expected that the same unfair treatment was not going to be repeated towards Bright or any other cyclist,” he added.

“However, it seems that you and your committee continue with your unfair treatment agenda of Bright Chipongo and other cyclists, and now placing the blame onto SRC.

“SRC will only make decisions based on information and recommendations presented by you, your committee and especially the Team manager – Linda Davidson.”

In the same email exchanges, Donaldson defends the selection of Kerievha adding that the selection committee was satisfied with his results.

“Albert has in fact ridden a number of road races, and was considered by the SRC selection panel who found his Afcon MTB results satisfactory,” Donaldson said.

“At the appeal I personally was pushing for 3 men to be selected, Bright being the only one omitted, and this was because of his past results when representing Zimbabwe.

“I have never and will never work against ANY rider especially when selection comes up, but will always fight to have our sport and riders recognised in the best way.”

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