Anthony Tan turns to the pages of UCI rule book to uncover the options Heinrich Haussler may have open to him in order to ride for Australia.
7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:36 PM

It turns out Heinrich Haussler wants to be an Aussie, after all.

In a telephone interview with his Cervélo TestTeam team-mate Simon Gerrans
on Thursday last week, I asked him if it was the depth of talent among
the current crop of Australian riders – and by virtue of that
statement, competition to make the senior men's road squad – that led
toHaussler's decision to postpone his attempt to seek an Australian licence for the 2010 racing season and beyond.

"He hasn't [put off his attempt to hold an Australian racing licence].
He hasn't at all. I was talking to him about that on the weekend at
[the GPOuest France-] Plouay (the one-day classic Gerrans won on August 23), and he's still motivated to become Australian," Gerrans told me two days before the start of the Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain).

"He [Haussler] said what was in the media last week was a load of bulls***, actually," said Gerrans.

If you read my last column, this is the main reason why I reserved any
speculation of my own until I had a direct quote from eitherHaussler or someone close to him.

However, I did write "this just doesn't sound like Haussler talking". It turns out the quote – "I would like to start in the BDR (Bund Deutscher Radfahrer, the German cycling federation) jersey in my former homeland" – was a press release from the BDR itself – not from Haussler.

An email request to Haussler seeking clarification was not returned.

"He [Haussler] was pretty annoyed that that [story] came out," said Gerrans.

"He said [the report] made him look pretty silly, because not once has
he said that he changed his mind about becoming an Australian. He's
still doing everything he can to take his licence in Australia, to
become Australian again, and he wants to represent Australia next year."

The press release aside, you might ask why Gerrans said Haussler's "doing everything he can to take his licence in Australia".

relatively straightforward task, one would think. Not so for those
occupying dual nationalities, and wishing to change the nationality of
their racing licence.

In Part 1 of the UCI Cycling Regulations,
Chapter 1 – Licence Holders, Sub-section 1 – Licences, Rule 1.1.033
states under its second dot-point:

"A rider holding multiple
nationalities shall be required to choose between them on the occasion
of first applying for a licence. This choice of nationality shall be
final for the rider's entire career unless he loses that nationality
for any reason, without prejudice to the application of the third
paragraph below."

That third paragraph reads:

"A rider
who acquires an additional nationality may choose this nationality.
Such a choice shall be final, and shall be made at the latest by the
second application for a licence following the acquisition of the new

Now you can to begin to understand why German cycling federation president Udo Sprenger was so confident Haussler would ride for the black, red and yellow – not the green and gold – at the 2010 world road championships in Geelong, Victoria. (As an aside, Haussler isn't riding this year's world's, to be staged in Mendrisio, Switzerland, from September 23-27.)

And it is this third paragraph of Rule 1.1.033 in the UCI Cycling Reg's that was the source of Sprenger's optimism. As it stands, the UCI ruling makes it nigh-impossible for Haussler to adopt an Australian racing licence unless
he relinquishes his German nationality/passport – the very documents
that allow Heinrich to live in Europe without the tedium or hassles of
applying for temporary residency or a sporting visa, which riders with
only an Australian passport have to go through.

In short, the only way Haussler
will ride for the green and gold in 2010 is if the UCI amend rule
1.1.033, or he relinquishes his German nationality, which isn't
terribly fair given his father's German and he's still proud of his
German heritage.

How to solve a problem like Heinrich?

I'll have more from my interview with Gerrans on SBS' Cycling Central during the Vuelta a España.