British cyclist Mark Cavendish had urine thrown at him during Wednesday’s time trial at the 2013 Tour de France, his team claimed.
The liquid thrown at Cavendish may have been a response to the British cyclist colliding with fellow 2013 Tour de France competitor Tom Veelers of the Netherlands, the Daily Mail reported.
“It was all over him,” the press manager for Cavendish’s cycling team told the tabloid.
Cavendish "explained to the other guys in the bus that the public was not very fair with him, and then somebody put some urine on him," the cyclist’s team manager, Patrick Lefevere of Omega Pharma-Quick Step, told the Associated Press following the 11th stage of the tour. “"We are always happy in cycling that there is no hooliganism, but of course, when there are 100,000 or 200,000 people on the road ... somebody had bad behavior."
Cavendish’s countryman Chris Froome said he was disappointed that someone may have doused Cavendish with urine.
"Mark, he's one of the big characters in the sport, and some people love him and some people hate him. But to do something disrespectful like that, that's really sad," Froome said. "One individual doing that, it just leaves a bit of a bad taste in your mouth — a bad taste in Mark's mouth."
Cavendish’s Omega Pharma-Quick Step teammate, Jerome Pineau, called the incident “scandalous” via Twitter.
“I’m ashamed when my friend Mark Cavendish tells me that he was jeered and even sprayed with urine,” Pineau wrote.
Even disgraced former cyclist Lance Armstrong, who had his Tour de France victories stripped from him following a doping scandal, weighed in on the incident. Armstrong did not specifically address the urine incident, but said heckling and harassment has been part of cycling for a long time.
“Why all the sudden shock and outrage,” he tweeted. “This has been happening for 100 years in some form or another.”