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"No hands" cycling star called poor role model

Olympic gold medallist Fabian Cancellara has been criticised for not wearing a helmet and riding with no hands in an advert for his team's sponsor.

This content was published on June 19, 2009 - 13:18

The Swiss Council for Accident Prevention told the Associated Press news agency it regretted that people in such positions did not take their position as role models seriously.

In the advert for Saxo Bank, Cancellara is riding his bike wearing a suit and tie while checking his investments on a mobile phone. The caption is: "Trade anytime, anywhere".

The advert is being shown across Switzerland at the moment to coincide with the Tour de Suisse cycling race. Cancellara was in second spot after Thursday's stage.

A spokeswoman for the state-owned accident insurer admitted little could be done to force the company to discontinue the advert.

In response, the Danish bank said people should be aware that the scene with the 28-year-old athlete was staged.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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