Following appeal for compensation for family of late rider Galletti, Cookson says he’s treating the situation ‘very seriously’
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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Following appeal for compensation for family of late rider Galletti, Cookson says he’s treating the situation ‘very seriously’

by Shane Stokes at 10:45 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Quick preliminary response from new UCI president

Brian CooksonResponding quickly after the Italian Professional Cyclists Association (ACCPI) contacted him in an appeal to secure a payout for the family of the late Italian pro Alessio Galletti, UCI president Brian Cookson has said that he is taking the matter of the rider’s death ‘very seriously’ and will look further into the subject.

Galletti was a former winner of stages of the Tour Down Under and Tour de l’Ain, as well as a past victor of the GP Fred Mengoni. He competed in teams such as Lampre, Saeco and Domina Vacanze during the course of a twelve year pro career.

On June 15th 2005 he was competing in the Subida al Naranco race but got into difficulties approximately 15 kilometres from the finish. He suffered a heart attack and passed away. A post-mortem showed that he had died of natural causes.

Despite the loss that his wife Consuelo, their nine-month-old baby Marcus, and their-then unborn son Manuel suffered, the insurance company which had covered Galletti refused to pay out. It said that the policy only covered accidents rather than death from natural causes.

The ACCPI told Cookson in a letter sent to him that the Italian association for riders wrote to the UCI over six years ago to explain this situation and to request clarification how the international federation had signed the convention without realising that the insurance policy was against accidents alone.

“In a fax dated 30th August 2007, the UCI, in the person of the Manager of the Road Cycling Department,
Mr Philippe Chevalier, answered that the matter had been submitted to the UCI’s Legal Department and
that an answer would be given as soon as possible. But this fax was not followed by an answer,” it said.

The ACCPI added that three subsequent letters sent by a Swiss lawyer in 2009 were also unanswered.

Cookson was contacted in a bid to try to secure compensation for the rider’s family. He took over from Pat McQuaid as UCI President in September,and indicated in his response today that he will look into the matter.

“Many thanks for your email and the information you have provided about the sad death of Alessio Galletti in 2005 and the impact on his family,” he replied to the ACCPI letter, which had been signed by that body’s president Amedo Colombo, its vice president Cristian Salvato, the CPA president Gianni Bugno and on behalf of all Italian riders.

“Professional riders are central to our wonderful sport of cycling so please be assured that I do take this very seriously indeed.

“I will make sure that the UCI investigates the details and we will get back to you with a more substantive response in due course.”

The ACCPI will hope for a successful ending to the matter, not least because Galletti’s family has been waiting eight years for satisfaction on the issue.

It said that despite the UCI’s previous silence, that it believed that the governing body’s actions show that it realises an error was made.

“A fact occurred that, in our opinion, can be considered as an implicit admission of responsibility
(at least a partial one) by the UCI: from that moment on, all the insurance policies of the Pro Tour and Professional Teams were modified, so that the risk of death also from natural causes was insured, in compliance with the joint agreement,” the letter states.

Cookson’s reply does not indicate a likely outcome, but Galletti’s family will hope that the rapid response and his promise to take the matter seriously will, eight year after the rider’s passing, finally lead to a satisfactory resolution.

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