MANILA, Philippines – A fist fight between a sportscaster and a riding coach marred Stage 13 of the 2nd Ronda Pilipinas in Baguio City.
PTV 4 sportscaster Snow Badua and V-Mobile coach Arjuna Saulo figured in a brawl on Friday at the starting line of the stage won by American Vinyl-LPGMA’s Irish Valenzuela.
Badua claimed he was upset by Saulo’s allegation of “biased” reporting in favor of another squad, which triggered the fistfight.
“I was irked and provoked by his accusation but he should not have hit me,” said the sportscaster, who sported a busted lip from Saulo’s hit.
Witnesses, however, claimed it was Badua who assaulted the V-Mobile coach first.
Saulo claimed that he was only trying to defend himself when the irate media man allegedly swung at him and refused to calm down despite being restrained by no less than Dutch chief commissar Martin Bruin.
As a result of altercation, organizers, based on the recommendation of the commissars, withdrew the accreditation of both men and banned them from the race. Saulo was also fined P10,000.
“Based on the strong commendation of the commissars, we have decided to ban Badua and Saulo from participating further in the Ronda Pilipinas,” race director Rick Rodriguez said. “Incidents like these have no place in cycling.”