Riders are being ‘held against their will’ and ‘treated like plague victims’, says Cofidis president

The president of Cofidis cycling team Thiery Vittu has claimed his riders are being ”held against their will” and “treated like plague victims” at their hotel in the United Arab Emirates.

The final two stages of the UAE Tour were cancelled after two suspected cases of the coronavirus but organisers revealed on Saturday that all 167 people who were quarantined has returned negative tests.

However, French teams Cofidis and Groupama-FDJ, who were tested for a second time on Sunday, remain under quarantine.

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“I think that this situation is really not normal. We’re being held against our will in a place we didn’t choose and for an unknown length of time,” Vittu said in a statement.

“When we meet someone from the hotel in the corridor, he runs away.

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“We are treated like plague victims; our rooms have not been made since we arrived five days ago, we have to go in front of the elevator, there is a cart and we help ourselves with sheets, soaps and towels.”

UCI, cycling’s world governing body, told the BBC that it is working to resolve the situation and hopes “riders and staff will be able to leave the country today”.​

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