Cycling governing body tries to ban racer because of his association with OnlyFans

OnlyFans is in the news again, and this time it's because they sponsored pro-MTB Rider, Lewis Buchanan.
I am proud and very stoked to announce my signing with OnlyFans for 2023 as title sponsor. I have always wanted to partner with a company outside the MTB industry but who are keen to get stuck into something new. OnlyFans is a social media platform where anyone can be creative and showcase their talents. Sharing exclusive content or whatever you are passionate about and connecting with your fans. I will use my account to share my tips and tricks on bike setup, on track tips and behind the scenes footage at events across the world. It is cool to bring a brand this large into the MTB world and I’m excited on what this will do for me and everyone involved. I look forward to working alongside the people behind the company and having their support and backing to create the coolest MTB content and visit the most insane locations around the world on two wheels. This job I do is a business more than it ever used to be and I am proud of myself for making moves outside of the industry, stepping into something that’s never been done before in MTB and to see this come together after months of piecing it together. Let’s have a good one!—Lewis Buchanan via Instagram

The cycling governing body tries to ban enduro racer because of his association with OnlyFans

Lewis Buchanan's newly announced 2023 sponsorship was sure to create a stir online, as it did - however, this is not the sort of attention he intended. The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), known for its strict rules, has informed Buchanan that he will not be authorized to race while associated with the sponsor. Consequently, Buchanan is now in an “awkward situation.” [embedyt][/embedyt] The UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) has raised concerns about Lewis Buchanan's newly-formed team, sponsored by OnlyFans. OnlyFans is an online platform which, while attempting to diversify its image, is widely known for providing adult content. Consequently, the UCI has expressed worries regarding the team's involvement with the platform. Why is that a problem? According to Buchanan, UCI sent notice in February that his association with OnlyFans violated article 1.1.089 of the UCI Cycling Regulations. Under Chapter 1 of the regulations, covering “License Holders” Article 1.1.089 reads:
Without prejudice of the applicable law, no brand of tobacco, spirits, pornographic products or any other products that might damage the image of the UCI or the sport of cycling in general shall be associated directly or indirectly with a licence–holder, a UCI team or a national or international cycling competition. As defined in the present article, a spirit is a beverage with a content in alcohol of 15% or more.
Buchanan states that UCI has expressed its disapproval of OnlyFans due to its promotion of adult content. He acknowledges that the platform is used for advertising such material, but also other forms of content. He furthers that the UCI is very active on Twitter, a platform that is also used to distribute adult material. Buchanan is facing a potential consequence if he decides to move forward with the race despite notification from UCI: he could be prevented from starting by the organizer or the commissars, or he might be fined anywhere from 1,000 to 25,000 Swiss Francs by UCI. Buchanan is now limited in their racing pursuits, since enduro, their primary discipline, comes under the jurisdiction of the UCI, and they are not allowed to participate in any UCI-sanctioned events. Despite his attempts, Buchanan claims that there has been little progress in his conversations with the UCI since February.
“I understand that they can do whatever they want, and I understand that they have to protect themselves,” Buchanan states. “Fingers crossed that we can come to some sort of an agreement.”
Buchanan appears to be displeased with UCI's choice. Whether or not one agrees with OnlyFans' endeavors to expand their range of content, his disappointment is understandable. The UCI is thrilled to gain support from alcoholic beverage companies, as long as the alcohol content is no higher than 15%. This number is just above the 12% average of champagne. On podiums that don't have champagne. Usually, a huge beer stein is present. It's almost a given that a bottle of prosecco will be included at the Giro d'Italia podium, even though it must be uncorked prior to the ceremony.


Then there’s the more general part of Article 1.1.089, which states athletes must not be associated with “any products that might damage the image of the UCI or the sport of cycling in general.” It appears that UCI is not opposed to teams having relationships with gambling-related entities. A number of noteworthy squads are sponsored by lottery or gambling websites, particularly in the road cycling sector. I guess they are cool with one vice, just not another. And plenty of observers pointed out the irony of Amgen, the makers of EPO, being the primary sponsor of the Tour of California while it existed.  

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