Doris Schweizer, former two-time Swiss road champion, has come forward with details concerning her experiences while racing for Cervelo-Bigla under the team’s owner Thomas Campana. Campana was accused of abusing his power as the head of the team in 2015 by bullying, fat shaming, intimidating riders and ignoring medical concerns.
“I did not want to comment further, but due to extreme reactions, I would like to share some personal thoughts,” Schweizer wrote in her blog on Monday.
“It is probably understandable that as a person affected, I cannot understand how such behaviour can be considered ‘normal’ or ‘necessary’ to demand top performance.
“Even four months later, the Swiss main sponsor Bigla did not take the opportunity to catch up or to ask questions – but in my opinion, that alone also draws a clear picture.”
In an article published by the Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant last November, former Cervelo-Bigla riders Iris Slappendel, Carmen Small, Vera Koedooder and Schweizer revealed their concerns while at the Cervelo-Bigla team where athletes would avoid Campana’s anger.
Their allegations of abuse took place predominantly during the 2015 season. Campana denied all the allegations.
Schweizer’s case revolved primarily around ignored medical concerns after she had crashed during the Giro Rosa that year and suffered from a suspected concussion with symptoms that included blurred vision and sweating. Schweizer said that Campana told her it was ‘because of the heat,’ and she felt obliged to start and finish the following stage. She was only permitted to leave the race after a phone call from the team doctor, who expressed the seriousness of her concussion symptoms. Schweizer says she suffered from those injuries for two years, and still sometimes feels the after-affects of the head injury.
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