UCI backs equal money for women and men

With the Lance Armstrong scandal shattering the UCI's image, the world cycling body is supporting more fair rewards.

    UCI backs equal money for women and men
    Crowds packed the pavements of London to support the women road racers during the Olympics [GALLO/GETTY]

    Although the 2012 Olympics temporarily raised the profile of women's sport, it will take a lot more work for female sports stars to gain parity with their male colleagues all year round.

    Only a few months after the London Games and women have once more disappeared from the sporting headlines.

    However, there does appear to be growing awareness from sports officials and the media that more fairness between the sexes is only possible if women are given financial and commercial support. 

    On Friday, cycling took a large step to ensure women are rewarded for their efforts.

    Female riders will earn as much as their male counterparts at cycling World Championships from next year, the governing body of the sport said.

    "The (decision) is a simple but very important step forward in our effort to guarantee a healthy and fair future for our sport,"

    UCI president Pat McQuaid

    The move is part of the International Cycling Union's (UCI) efforts to improve the sport's reputation, badly tarnished by the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

    "The UCI Management Committee this week approved a proposal for equal prize money for men and women at all UCI World Championships," the UCI said in a statement.

    "Coming into effect from January 2013, this decision applies to all of cycling's disciplines with the exception of the road team time-trial."

    The team time-trial, which reappeared at this year's road world championships in Valkenburg, Netherlands, is the only event raced in commercial team jerseys. 

    "The (decision) is a simple but very important step forward in our effort to guarantee a healthy and fair future for our sport," UCI president Pat McQuaid was quoted as saying.

    Money has been an issue in some sports including tennis, with some men complaining about women having equal prize money at grand slam events despite playing shorter matches.

    However, although the battle of the sexes has only just begun, cycling's decision is positive news for anyone wanting to see greater appreciation of women's sport.   

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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