A Chinese professional cycling racer has been banned from the sport for two years after attacking members of a Swiss team after crashing out of a stage on the Tour of Hainanexternal link in Southern China.
The Chinese Cycling Association has banned Wang Xin and his Key Look team from all competitions until 2019. Punishments were also handed out to two other team members for their part in the incident and the team’s manager for failing to control his employees.
Wang Xin punched and kickedexternal link two members of the Swiss Cycling team, believing that he was knocked off his bike by their car during the race. He was then restrained by police after attempting to resume the attack using a bicycle pump.
The team was expelled from the island after the attack, with tour organisers saying they would never be invited again.
Speaking to Eurosport, Swiss Cyclingexternal link team manager Danilo Hondo said the attack took place when team members approached the rider after the race as a conciliatory gesture, but denied that the fall was caused by their car.
"We never bumped into him, you can see that from the race video," Hondo said during the television interview. "He simply hit the back wheel of another rider and went down. He was obviously embarrassed and took out his frustration on us.”
"We tried to approach him after the race, in fact we waited 45 minutes after the finish to apologise for any misunderstandings and to show him and his team that we respect them and meant no harm. But both he and his team approached us with anger and everything escalated from there."
The Key Look team has since apologised for the incident on social media channels.