Cyclist banished after nude photos found
Belgian cyclist Tara Gins has revealed how she was refused a job in a men's team because of a Playboy photo shoot.
The 30-year-old posed for the popular American magazine last year and has also appeared in a topless calendar.
But, after agreeing to work as a director for an unnamed men's team, she found herself exiled.
Gins spoke out against her treatment on Instagram, in a statement seen via CyclingNews, saying: "I had a verbal agreement to join a team.
"I was really looking forward to that. It's what I like to do. I want to learn and be in the support vehicle.
"But now apparently someone has made a problem of a photo in a book.
"I don't mind now that the agreement was cancelled. It is better this way.
"I don't want to work with people who don't see my capabilities and just walk with the herd. In cycling, too much thinking is still done inside the box. That's a shame."
After riding professionally between 2016 and 2018, Gins appeared in Playboy and often posts revealing snaps for her 31,000 Instagram followers.
And she has admitted her shock in being told the photo shoots meant she was deemed inappropriate for the role.
She told CyclingNews: "(The team boss) started the conversation by saying that he was breaking off the commitment that we had because someone on the team, a staff member came across pictures of me.
"That person sent the pictures in a group chat to the other staff members. Apparently, it was a chat that I was not included in.
"Someone must have threatened the manager to send those pictures to one of the sponsors because that person has I don't know what kind of relationship with the sponsor.
"I'm not 100 per cent sure what photos they are talking about.
"In May last year, I did a photo shoot for Playboy and then two months later I did another photo shoot for a calendar for a Belgian company.
"These calendars are only sent to their company customers, so you can't find the pictures online. You can only see the pictures if you work for the company.
"That calendar came out in the first week of January, and so I am guessing that it was the pictures in the calendar."
Gins has asserted that her modelling "would not hurt anyone".
As a rider, she has competed professionally for Lares-Waowdeals and Health Mate-Cyclelive Team.
Patrick Van Gansen, the Health Mate general manager, was last year found guilty of ethics violations after a number of female riders made inappropriate behaviour allegations.
And Gins, who has said she no longer races, believes misconduct has long affected her career.
She added: "Those were photos I wouldn't hurt anyone with.
"Apparently these are now too inappropriate to work with riders. Apparently, a photo is more important than capabilities or experience.
"In all the years that I have raced, I have already experienced so many negative things with team leaders or seigneurs.
"I was literally assaulted. Once a mechanic crept into the shower with me after a workout. I was once kissed by someone on the staff, and I had to push that person away from me.
"I once had very inappropriate comments from team managers about how I looked, about my weight, what they wouldn't do to me if I looked different.
"I've always argued against that, I've always pushed it off. But all of the things I've been through make this even more frustrating.
"I have now stopped racing and want to do my own things, get opportunities.
"And then they are taken back by those jerks, sorry so to speak, who have a double standard. Apparently, as a man, you can do a little more in the world."
"There are so many women who want a position in … cycling, and they have the capabilities to do it but they don't advance because of idiotic things like this."
This article first appeared in The Sun and was reproduced with permission
Originally published as Cyclist banished after nude photos found