Following Brook Macdonald's crash in Mont Sainte Anne that left him with a spinal injury, a lot of questions have been raised about the medical procedures around serious injuries put in place by the UCI. Brook was on the hill for a number of hours in pain before his evacutation was carried out. In a recent interview with Pinkbike
he described the evacuation effort as "not very good at all" and said:
To understand more about the situation and how it might be handled in future, we reached out to the UCI and received the following statement from Xavier Bigard, the UCI's Medical Director, who was on the ground at the time of the incident. Their response is posted in full below:
We followed up with some further questions regarding their statement, and they responded by pointing to Article 13.4.011. "The organizer shall be responsible for the medical services to the exclusion of the UCI. Checks that may be carried out by or on behalf of the UCI are limited to checks of compliance with the UCI rules and do not shift responsibility for the medical services from the organizer to the UCI. The organizer remains exclusively responsible for the safety at his event."
It appears that they're saying that the Mont-Sainte-Anne organizers should take final responsibility for Brook's ordeal on the hillside. However, they did also say they were "open to considering an update of distances and duration for helicopter rescue operations," which will hopefully be a fruitful avenue of investigation for improving managing a situation like this in the future.
We also tried to get a comment on the situation from the organizers at Mont-Sainte-Anne but they declined to add to the UCI statement.
We wish Brook all the best in his continued recovery.
Additional reporting by Si Paton.