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UCI introduces equal prize money for women and men

PARIS (Reuters) - Female riders will earn as much as their male counterparts at cycling World Championships from next year, the governing body of the sport said on Friday.

The move is part of the International Cycling Union's (UCI) efforts to improve the sports reputation, badly tarnished by the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

"The UCI Management Committee this week approved a proposal for equal prize money for men and women at all UCI World Championships," the UCI said in a statement.

"Coming into effect from January 2013, this decision applies to all of cycling's disciplines with the exception of the road team time-trial."

The team time-trial, which reappeared at this year's road world championships in Valkenburg, Netherlands, is the only event raced in commercial team jerseys.

"The (decision) is a simple but very important step forward in our effort to guarantee a healthy and fair future for our sport," UCI president Pat McQuaid was quoted as saying.

Money has been an issue in some sports including tennis, with some men complaining about women having equal prize money at grand slam events despite playing shorter matches.

(Writing by Gregory Blachier; Editing by Mark Meadows)

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