Dutch cycling federation Koninklijke Nederlandsche Wielren Unie (KNWU) filed for arbitration against the organizer of the Tour de France with the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) on Wednesday, according to the Agence France-Presse. Tour organizer Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), which started the 2015 Tour in Utrecht, Netherlands, allegedly didn’t pay a $152,236 fee to the KNWU. The UCI, the national governing body, said the fee is required for all races held in the Netherlands.
“Like all other large and small events in the Netherlands, [the Tour de France must] contribute to the development of the Dutch cycling,” read a KNWU release on Thursday. The organization claimed that the amount charged to organizers is not a fixed amount, but is decided by “the meaning and scope of the event.”
According to the KNWU, the ASO entered into contract with the city of Utrecht in December 2014 for $4.5 million, thereby also entering into contract with the KNWU. When the KNWU sent an invoice to the city to withdraw its fees, the city asserted that the bill was the responsibility of the ASO. After multiple letters, the ASO acknowledged the debt but claimed that the amount was too high.
“We received a bill of [$152,236] out of nowhere, and with no explanation,” ASO executive director Christian Prudhomme told Dutch media, as reported by the Agence France-Presse. He said the ASO had never before received such a large bill from a host organization, calling the amount “an absurd sum, not based on anything.”
According to the Agence France-Presse, the UCI will make a ruling at the end of December.