Professional cyclist Janvier Hadi has shocked the nation by announcing premature retirement from the sport two months after returning from Germany where he had arrived three months earlier to join UCI Continental team Stradalli–Bike Aid.
The 25-year old confirmed the decision to Times Sport on Tuesday, explaining that he took the decision following what he called “unscrupulous treatment” from the Rwanda Cycling Federation (FERWACY).
The reigning African road race champion claimed the federation’s attitude toward him had alienated him and that left him feeling unwanted.
“I have carefully considered the situation that I have gone through since January until today and decided that retirement is the best option for me,” Hadi said. “It’s a difficult and sad decision but it was inevitable.”
The former Team Rwanda captain added: “This decision is due to many factors that I cannot exhaust right now but, just to give you an idea, I was dropped from the national team in January and I remain out of the team to date; and unlike my colleagues, I am yet to participate in any international competition and I have not been told why.”
“I have never been informed of any wrongdoing on my part, no case of indiscipline that has been brought forward against me, and yet there has been a sustained effort to alienate me, especially from the time I joined Bike Aid in April”.
“I returned two months ago (from Germany) after things didn’t go according to plan, especially in terms of living conditions, I fail to get support and had to come back.”
Last year, Hadi became the first Rwandan to win a gold medal at All-Africa Games outside the Paralympic category since Mariciane Mukamurenzi – in the women’s 10000m at the 1987 All-Africa Games in Nairobi.
I so doing, he qualified Rwanda to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games road race.
However, FERWACY picked veteran rider Adrien Niyonshuti to represent the country at the Games – ahead of Hadi. During the Games in Rio, Niyonshuti did not even complete the 236km race, riding only 50km.
“I have already informed my team (Bike Aid) and this morning I handed over all the equipment to Africa Rising Cycling Center (based in Musanze),” Hadi said.
Contacted for a comment, FERWACY secretary-general Emmanuel Murenzi confirmed the development but denied the federation had sidelined the cyclist.
He said when national team cyclists join foreign clubs they cease to be members of the national team.
“We are aware of his decision and we have to respect it,” he said today.
Murenzi said the federation considers Hadi as a Stradalli–Bike Aid cyclist and cannot involve him in any local or international competition since the club did not give them the green light to that effect.
“As far as we know he belongs to Bike Aid,” he said.
Hadi had signed a one-year contract with the Germany-based cycling club that runs throughDecember 31, 2016.