PE cycling academy hit by cheating scandal

In yet another cheating scandal to rock the Eastern Cape sporting fraternity, the owner of a Port Elizabeth cycling academy has been suspended and his academy placed under administration after being found guilty in an internal cycling body process of age-group cheating.
Kwazakhele development club Imveli Cycling Academy was placed under provincial administration by East Cape Cycling on July 4 and its chairman and manager, Lukholo Badi, suspended from all association with cycling and cycling activities for three years.
Badi was found guilty of submitting false dates of birth for riders, making them younger than they are, thereby giving them an unfair advantage.
The scandal came to light on Tuesday when East Cape Cycling announced the sanctions imposed on Imveli and Badi – the 2017 Herald Citizen of the Year in the open category – and following the emergence of an attorney’s letter outlining Badi and Imveli’s joint intention to appeal against East Cape Cycling’s “default findings and sanction”.
The appeal is expected to be heard by the sport’s national body, Cycling South Africa, with the entire process expected to take about 20 days, according to East Cape Cycling.
Badi, 36, was the president of East Cape Cycling when he received the Citizen of the Year accolade for his founding and achievements of the academy – a community development project which provides cycling, running and swimming programmes dedicated to youth development.Badi’s suspension follows a report in The Herald on Wednesday on the banning of Bay athlete Dean Shaw from an international CrossFit competition after testing positive for an illicit performance-enhancing drug.
Shaw has lodged an appeal against the ban, which also saw his team being disqualified from the event.
East Cape Cycling, in its statement on Badi and Imveli, directly implicated Badi in alleged age-group cheating during provincial championships.
“East Cape Cycling held an internal investigation into incorrect age-group participation by riders from the Imveli Cycling Academy during 2017 and 2018,” the provincial body said.
“It was found that two riders’ ID numbers had been incorrectly entered on race entry forms.
“The first two digits on the ID number had been altered so that the riders are younger than their actual ages.
“The submission of all race entry details for the riders was done by the academy chairman and manager of the riders, Mr Lukholo Badi.
“[The] East Cape Cycling disciplinary tribunal found Mr Badi guilty of age-group cheating by falsely submitting dates of births for the riders, making them younger than they actually are, and thereby giving them an unfair advantage over their competitors and, by doing this, brought the sport of cycling into disrepute.”
It said Badi had been suspended from all cycling activities for three years.
“Medals obtained at the East Cape Cycling Provincial Championships by the riders will have to be returned and correct podiums and medals awarded.“East Cape Cycling also placed the Imveli Cycling Academy under provincial administration so that it can ensure and facilitate a transition period whereby new structures can be put in place and new office bearers elected to run the academy correctly,” the provincial body said in the statement.
A senior East Cape Cycling official, directly involved in the administration of cycling in the Bay region, said the appeal process would now go into motion at Cycling South Africa, which would ultimately be responsible for any decisions.
“The main reason for placing the academy under administration is to protect the youths at the academy and to ensure the continuation of the academy and its development work,” the official, who asked not to be named, said.
“We would prefer not to comment any further.”Badi’s legal representative, Bay attorney Bukky Olowookorun, said she had advised him not to comment at this stage, but he would be willing to speak out once the matter had been concluded.
Olowookorun, however, pointed out that East Cape Cycling had come to a “default finding and sanction” for Badi and Imveli, meaning that the disciplinary tribunal made its findings in absentia.
“He [Badi] was not even in Port Elizabeth,” she said.
Olowookorun, in a letter to East Cape Cycling notifying it of Badi and Imveli’s intention to appeal against the findings and sanction, says the matter is being appealed on the grounds that the findings and the sanctions “are both procedurally and substantively unfair”.
In the letter, dated July 17 and marked as “extremely urgent”, which The Herald has seen, she says: “We record to our client’s shock, apprehension and disappointment that this ruling and sanction, both of which are evidently still subject to appeal, have been posted on Facebook social media in a defamatory manner and direct attack on a [programme] that was organised in collaboration with other stakeholders in honour of the centenary birthday anniversary of Nelson Mandela.”
Asked what this meant for Badi’s Citizen of the Year award, The Herald chief marketing officer Justin Peel said: “We have been informed that Mr Badi is appealing against the outcome of the disciplinary process undertaken against him.
“The Herald respects his right to do so.
“Therefore, it is the outcome of that appeal process that will inform any decision made with regard to our association.”
Cycling South Africa general manager Mike Bradley could not be reached for comment.

FREE TO READ | Just register if you’re new, or sign in.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00.