Cape Town (AFP) - South African cyclist Nicholas Dlamini suffered a broken arm in a confrontation with park rangers on Table Mountain on Friday over whether he had dodged paying his entry fee.
His team, NTT, blamed South African National Park (SANParks) staff.
"Nicolas Dlamini sustained a broken arm after being stopped by SANParks officials in the Silvermine section of Table Mountain National Park on Friday," NTT said in a statement.
"There can be no justification for the level of violence meted out to him."
The park authorities responded that a cyclist had suffered a broken arm but said that the rider had entered the park without paying.
When he was stopped by rangers and asked to show a ticket or permit "the situation spiralled causing the suspect to injure himself during the ordeal".
Photos and videos posted on social media show a ranger pushing Dlamini against a SANParks vehicle while twisting the cyclist's arm, behind his back.
In the evening, South Africa's Environment Minister Barbara Creecy tweeted that she had visited the bedside of the hospitalised athlete "and heard first hand his horrible experience."
"I have instructed @SANParks to suspend all official involved and implement an independent investigation," she wrote.
Dlamini, a 24 year-old, who is from Cape Town, rode for NTT in the Vuelta this year.
NTT called the injury "a major setback" for the South African who planned to ride in the Tokyo Olympics next year