The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and its World Cycling Centre (WCC) are providing support for a Refugee Cycling Team to compete in the UCI Cycling World Championships taking place in Glasgow and across Scotland (3-13 August).
The team comprises five road athletes (three women and two men) and a male mountain bike athlete. All living in European host countries, they originally come from Afghanistan, Syria and Iran.
These athletes will compete in the upcoming UCI Cycling World Championships wearing a plain white jersey, provided by UCI partner Santini, bearing the inscription Refugee Cycling Team. Two of the members – Masomah Ali Zada and Ahmad Badreddin Wais – were part of the IOC Olympic Refugee Team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The five road athletes will compete in events across the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships and the UCI Road World Championships. The mountain bike athlete will line up in the cross-country Marathon (XCM) and cross-country Olympic (XCO) races.
Refugee Cycling Team for the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships
Masomah Ali Zada, originally from Afghanistan, living in France
Zahra Ali Zada (Masomah’s sister), originally from Afghanistan, living in France
Frozan Rasooli, originally from Afghanistan, living in France
Amir Arslan Ansari, originally from Afghanistan, living in Sweden
Ahmad Badreddin Wais, originally from Syria, living in Switzerland
Mohammadreza Entezarioon, originally from Iran, living in Germany
Under the UCI Regulations (article 1.1.033), riders recognised as a refugee in their country of residence (by the relevant state authorities or the United Nations Refugee Agency – UNHCR) may choose between the sporting nationality corresponding to their nationality or be classified as “refugee” for all purposes related to cycling events. The riders who are part of the Refugee Cycling Team have gone through such a process and made the choice to no longer be affiliated to the National Federation of their country of citizenship and to take part in cycling competitions under the status of refugee.
UCI President David Lappartient said: “We are delighted to provide this opportunity for athletes with refugee status to compete at the UCI Cycling World Championships.
“These six athletes will benefit from financial and logistical assistance for their entire stay in Scotland to ensure they can compete on an even playing field with athletes who are racing as part of their national delegations. Cycling is by nature a sport that unites populations, and we truly believe that the Refugee Cycling Team will reinforce that value at the UCI Cycling World Championships.”