Riders Urged To Lift Doping Taint

A lobby group has invited riders to back a plan it says may remove doping suspicions undermining the sport after the Lance Armstrong doping scandal. The group campaigning to clean up cycling says the short-term intensive approach will restore public confidence in the riders and the race outcome.

Doctor Michael Ashenden, a leading anti-doping campaigner, in a news conference organized by “Change Cycling Now” remarked the assistance sought from the riders is to place a system that will guarantee that the winner of the major tours has not blood doped. The anti-doping campaigner gave no further details of his proposal but said he had briefed Gianni Bugno, president of the riders association, with a hope for its swift implementation for next season.

Cycling’s image has been hugely shaken ever since seven-time Tour de France winner and 41-year-old Texan rider, Lance Armstrong, was stripped of his titles and banned for life by the United States Anti-Doping Agency that accused him of being at the center of an organized doping conspiracy.

“Change Cycling Now” has called for UCI president Pat McQuaid to quit as head of the governing body of cycling by accusing him of failing to root out doping. Meanwhile, UCI president Pat McQuaid has vowed to continue to improve the sport, despite continued calls for his resignation.

McQuaid said we will work together to tackle issues of concern and build a bright future for cycling and look at how we can continue the process of globalizing cycling, encourage wider participation and make the sport even more interesting for spectators.

American Greg LeMond, who won the Tour in 1986, 1989, and 1990, said he was ready to serve as an interim head of the UCI. LeMond told the news conference he is ready to do whatever he can to help change the sport and remarked that if that means an interim presidency, he would be willing to do that and to be part of the process to change (the sport).

“Change Cycling Now”, comprising former riders, journalists and anti-doping campaigners, has been put together by Jaimie Fuller, an Australian who is chairman of the SKINS sportswear company, a cycling sponsor. More than 10 current cyclists were approached about the campaign but they were afraid to speak out, said Fuller who added that the vast majority were intimidated about what could happen to them if they stuck their head above the parapet and were critical of the vast majority were intimidated about what could happen to them if they stuck their head above the parapet and were critical of the cycling’s governing body.

LeMond said he had also been the victim of intimidation and said he dealt with the amount of money that he had to destroy people and added Armstrong had done a lot of damage to cycling and it was a false bull market for cycling. Recently, Dutch Rabobank pulled out of sponsoring a professional cycling team in the wake of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal and there are fears other companies may join soon.

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