LONDON (Reuters) - Team Sky have suspended rider Gianni Moscon from racing for six weeks and given the Italian a written warning after a racist incident at last week’s Tour de Romandie, the British outfit said in a statement on Monday.
Moscon, 23, was alleged to have used racially abusive language toward FDJ’s Kevin Reza at the end of Friday’s third stage with the Italian later apologizing to the Frenchman.
“There was a big fight at the finish and, yes, it hurt Kevin,” Team Sky’s Nicolas Portal told Cyclingnews on Saturday.
“After the stage Gianni apologized and we went to see FDJ this morning to make the effort so they know we take it seriously.
“Kevin accepted and that was nice that the two guys could shake hands and that there was an apology. There’s no excuse for that but we moved on.”
Portal added: “I don’t want to comment (on what Moscon said) but it wasn’t nice. If Kevin wants to comment then he will. It was a big incident for us and for him and we treated it.”
Team Sky’s statement on Monday said: “Following a disciplinary meeting with Team Sky concerning an incident at the Tour of Romandie, Gianni Moscon has been given a formal written warning and suspended from racing for six weeks. He will also attend a diversity awareness course.
“Gianni recognizes that his behavior was wrong and how seriously Team Sky take this kind of incident.
“He apologized to Kevin Reza after the stage and again to him and his team the following morning, and this apology was accepted.
“Gianni knows that there is no excuse for his behavior and that any repeat will result in termination of his contract.”
Writing by Ken Ferris; Editing by Ian Chadband