Team Rwanda’s Emile Bintunimana has been dismissed from the national cycling team over indiscipline, the team head coach and director of Africa Rising Cycling Centre, Jacques Boyer has said.
The 25-year-old, who represented Rwanda at this year’s La Tropicale Amissa Bongo in Gabon in February, had been given time off but disappeared and was not in touch with Team Rwanda or the Africa Rising Cycling Center at Musanze for over a month.
“Bintunimana is a talented rider but we could not tolerant such behavior in the team. We have strict lines that should not be crossed and standards that have to be followed. We tried to contact him but his mobile phone was off. After missing training for over a month, he returned and that is when he told us his issues,” Boyer said after confirming the dismissal.
“If a rider has any problem, we can comprehend and we try to find a solution, but that (not having a working phone) was not a reason to disappear,” the American trainer further explained.
The Rwanda Cycling Federation president Aimable Bayingana also stressed that, “Discipline is a key issue when it comes to the team. If a rider’s behavior is contrary to the standing rules, we cannot tolerate such conduct,” Bayingana said.
Efforts to reach Bintunimana were futile, but according to sources closer to him, the rider’s absence from the training camp is because he is trying to balance cycling and school.
When asked whether the riders can be given the opportunity to go back to school, Boyer replied, “We really love to see them go to school because education is part of our programme.”
Bintunimana joined Team Rwanda in 2013 and has participated in various competitions.
During the 2015 Tour of Rwanda, he won Stage two from Kigali-Huye after clocking a time of 3h’2’18 covering a distance of 120km.