UCI and USA Cycling Honor Rights-Violating Qatar

The UCI is holding the Road World Championships in Doha Qatar next month. The USA is sending a team, including a womens team. I think it’s a disgrace.

Bestowing the honor of hosting one of cycling’s most prestigous events, the World Championships, should not be taken lightly. Granting this privilege to a country implies validity and respect, that they are worthy.

In the case of Qatar, nothing could be further from the truth.

While paying lip service to rights, the truth is…

Qatar is an absolute monarchy. Political parties are banned. Slavery is rife. There is no free speech. There is no objective law and no individual rights. It’s barbaric. Not to mention that we’re at war with a more a consistent form of the governing ideology, radical Islam.

“Sharia law is the main source of Qatari legislation according to Qatar’s Constitution. Sharia law is applied to laws pertaining to family law, inheritance, and several criminal acts (including adultery, robbery and murder). In some cases in Sharia-based family courts, a female’s testimony is worth half a man’s and in some cases a female witness is not accepted at all.”

“Flogging is used in Qatar as a punishment for alcohol consumption or illicit sexual relations. Article 88 of Qatar’s criminal code declares the punishment for adultery is 100 lashes. Adultery is punishable by death when a Muslim woman and a non-Muslim man are involved.”

“Apostasy is a crime punishable by the death penalty in Qatar. Blasphemy is punishable by up to seven years in prison and proselytizing any religion other than Islam can be punished by up to 10 years in prison. Homosexuality is a crime punishable in sharia by the death penalty for Muslims, though in Qatar the penalty for consenting males is up to 5 years in prison.”

Source: Human Rights in Qatar, Wikipedia

It goes on… forced labor and more.

This is where the UCI holds it’s most prestigious race of the year. And USA Cycling sees no problem.

Can we still claim to be the land of the free, home of the brave… a shining beacon of liberty? Can we expect to eradicate such horrific abuses of individual rights while turning a blind eye and treating the violators as respected members of the world community? And what does it say to the victims of such regimes?

References

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An amateur cyclist from London took on the daunting Haute Route Dolomites, a 900 km ride over some of Europe’s most intimidating climbs, on a retro single speed bicycle.

“I’m in awe of the largely forgotten cycling heroes of the early part of the 1900’s who tackled these climbs on old, heavy single speeds.” -Mike Gluckman

The Haute Route Dolomites is a challenge under the best conditions. The 7 day sportif includes a whopping 21,000 meters of climbing through the Swiss Alps. That wasn’t enough for Mike Gluckman, who wanted to experience what it was like for cyclists in the early 20th century, who rode single speeds.

Gluckman loaned a Bianchi L’Eroica from Bianchi fitted with a 48×23 gear combo, and hit the road.

Cyclist Tackles Swiss Alps on Vintage Single Speed Bicycle

Makes my 39×25 climbing gear look positively wimpish! Nice going Mike!

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Watch the final 10km of stage 17 of the Vuelta featuring a brutal climb at the end. The climb averages 10% but kicks up to a muscle lacerating 21% in places.

Quintana and Contador mercilessly attack Froome while he desperately tries to hang on…

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