CLAMP DOWN: Calls on Sports Commissioner's Office to regulate community cycling eventsTHE Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) yesterday launched a scathing attack on sprouting organisers of community cycling events in an effort to regulate all such events under its sanctioning arm.
It is a move that mirrors the national body's efforts of 10 years ago when several mountain bike event organisers were forced to discontinue their events after failing to meet the high costs brought about by MNCF's sanctioning requirements.
The sanctioning efforts had since been relaxed, with the MNCF taking a more lenient approach until recently.
Only this time the MNCF is up against a much larger fleet of organisers backed by massive participation with weekly events mushrooming throughout the country, including a growing number in Sabah and Sarawak.
And MNCF president Datuk Abu Samah Wahab used the rostrum at the launch of the Jelajah Malaysia route officiated by Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, to call for the Sports Commissioner's Office to take action.
"There are so many events such as jamborees growing all over the country, which are not sanctioned and not registered with us, and this hinders our efforts to identify talent for development," said Abu Samah in his speech.
"I would like the Sports Commissioner's Office to help us regulate these events by making it compulsory for all those organising cycling events to be registered with us."
Events such as community rides, fun rides and mountain bike jamborees have been mushrooming all over the country over the past two years with weekly events that are popular with the masses attracting up to 2,000 participants.
International Cycling Union (UCI) regulations, however, bar its competition licence holders from competing in events that aren't sanctioned by the national bodies of each country.
"Also under UCI regulations, races can only cater to a maximum of 200 entries but these jamborees are running events for over 2,000 participants. So we wonder whether they are safe or not," said Abu Samah.
"Organisers of these events should ensure the safety of their participants and that those who participate are covered by insurance which we can provide through our Cycling For All licences."
The Cycling for All licences have been a subject of debate by the cycling community who question the sincerity of the national body in imposing the need for cyclists entering events to carry them.
These licences, unlike UCI competition and technical personnel licences, do not provide membership of any MNCF affiliates nor the rights that come with them, but instead offer only insurance coverage.
"We also want to regulate all the events so that there are no issues with prize money, like some organisers promising big prize and delivering less when the event is over," said Abu Samah.
The national body's controlling measures may not go down well with those in the industry, with many manufacturers and distributors committed to programmes within the unsanctioned events circuit.