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Sunday 28, Feb 2016

  Orica-GreenEdge And Katusha Leave MPCC

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Australian professional road race cycling team Orica–GreenEDGE and Russian road bicycle racing team Katusha have decided to leave the Movement for a Credible Cycling (MPCC) because they now believe rules of the UCI are enough.

Orica-GreenEdge and Katusha became the latest teams to have left the MPCC after the exit of LottoNL – Jumbo and Lampre – Merida. LottoNL and Lampre left MPCC after its riders were blocked from racing under rules of the France-based voluntary organization. American Chris Horner, who was previously with Lampre, was unable to defend his Vuelta a España title in 2014 because of low cortisol levels and the same was experienced by LottoNL’s George Bennett during last year’s Giro d’Italia. Previously, the Astana team ignored the cortisol rules of MPCC ahead of the 2014 Tour de France in allowing Lars Boom to race and Astana was later expelled from the organization. The same thing happened with Bardiani-CSF team at the 2015 Giro d’Italia and also left the MPCC.

The problem of overlapping rules was acknowledged by UCI president Brian Cookson who remarked the only rules teams should have to worry about are those of the world governing body of cycling, the UCI.

In a press release, Orica’s general manager Shayne Bannan said we would like to thank all the current and former members of the MPCC for the discussions and initiatives and for sincerely helping the sport move further in the right direction. Bannan added we fully support the initiatives that have now become an integrated part of the rules of the sport. Going onwards, we will be a strong supporter of seeing these and other initiatives being further developed by the official organizations in collaboration with all the other teams and stakeholders of cycling.

In a statement, Team Katusha said Team Katusha understands that the MPCC intends to strictly apply its rule regardless of the similar UCI provision recently adopted, despite a clear decision taken in this case by the UCI Disciplinary Commission and without acknowledging the specificity of the present case. Team Katusha statement further reads that it regrets the position of the MPCC and in particular its refusal to adapt its rules to the mandatory UCI Regulations and as a consequence Team Katusha has no other choice but to leave the MPCC with immediate effect. Team Katusha also said it would like to underline that it continues to fight against doping by every possible means as it has done in the past years. In this respect, Team Katusha will continue to voluntarily apply other MPCC rules – such as the prohibition to use Tramadol or the imposition of several rest days for a rider in the event of collapsing cortisol levels.

The MPCC, without Orica and Katusha, count only seven of the 18 WorldTour teams as members: Ag2r La Mondiale, Cannondale, Dimension Data, FDJ, Giant – Alpecin, IAM Cycling, and Lotto – Soudal. Teams like Astana, Etixx – Quick-Step, Lampre, LottoNL, Movistar, Sky, Tinkoff, and U.S.-registered teams BMC Racing and Trek-Segafredo are not members of the MPCC.

The MPCC existed for some time and gained momentum after the Lance Armstrong doping scandal. Many teams signed up to its stricter rules for increasing the stance of professional cycling against doping and controversial teams.

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Sunday 15, Mar 2015

  Lance Rode Tour Down Under In A Deal With McQuaid

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Lance Rode Tour Down Under In A Deal With McQuaid

According to a 227-page dossier published recently by the Cycling Independent Reform Commission, the comeback of Lance Armstrong in the 2009 Tour Down Under is an example of cycling failing to apply its own rules.

The CIRC report disclosed the former American professional road racing cyclist, who previously held seven consecutive Tour de France titles from 1999 to 2005 before being stripped of all titles, was to be paid US 1 million dollars for racing at the 2009 Tour Down Under, with the money to go to his Livestrong charity.  The wide-ranging report said another example of UCI failing to apply its own rules was the decision to allow Lance Armstrong to compete in the Tour Down Under in 2009, despite the fact that he had not been in the UCI (anti-doping) testing pool for the prescribed period of time.

The three appearances of Armstrong at the Tour from 2009-11 represent the single biggest boost to the race since it started in 1999. However, there has always been a dark cloud of controversy whether the ex-cyclist should have been cleared to compete. Armstrong was not supposed to be eligible for a return under anti-doping rules for a return to competition until February 1 – several days after the Tour.

The report said Pat McQuaid advised his senior team on the morning of 6 October that he had decided that Lance Armstrong could ride the Tour Down Under. This was after the then president of cycling’s world governing body, the UCI, told the camp of Lance Armstrong that the cyclist cannot compete at the January Tour. The report added several interviewees spoke about an abrupt ‘change of mind’ by the UCI president that took many people at UCI by surprise and underlined the fact that the decision was unilaterally taken by the UCI president and added that no explanation as then given internally as to why Lance Armstrong was suddenly given an exemption.

The CIRC report revealed that Armstrong confirmed to McQuaid he would ride in the 2009 Tour of Ireland also on October 6. McQuaid’s brother Darach was the project manager at the time for the Tour of Ireland. It was disclosed by the report that there was a “temporal link” between Lance Armstrong being cleared to race at the Tour Down Under and his decision to race at the Tour of Ireland. The report also said Pat McQuaid was under significant political pressure mainly from Australia to permit Armstrong commence his much-publicized racing comeback at the Adelaide race.

Former UCI presidents Hein Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid welcomed the findings of the CIRC report and insisted that the Cycling Independent Reform Commission has cleared them of any wrongdoing connected to the Lance Armstrong doping scandal. Verbruggen, president between 1991 and 2005, said the wild conspiracy theories and accusations have all been properly debunked once and for all and added he is pleased that this report confirms his complete innocence concerning these accusations which have been leveled at him in the past.

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Friday 16, Jan 2015

  World Championship Biathlon Medalist Fails Doping Test

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World Championship Biathlon Medalist Fails Doping Test

The International Biathlon Union (IBU) has announced the former World Championship medalist Sergei Sednev has failed a doping test. Russian Alexander Loginov has also been suspended for doping, according to an announcement by the IBU. Loginov, the 20-year-old four-time World Junior Championship gold medalist and Sochi Olympian, could lose a World Cup relay gold.

IBU President Anders Besseberg also said many more doping scandals could soon follow. Besseberg told Norwegian television station NRK that the sport is set to be hit with the biggest doping scandal in its history. The IBU chief said he cannot go into the detail as of now but there are some positive samples from athletes from several nations. Besseberg added that we have developed new methods for testing thanks to new technologies and so we were able to test the old samples again. He went on to add that we put the samples that are considered suspicious and not very clean, and look forward to new techniques that can identify these samples, if finally is something wrong with them or they are clean.

The body said on its official website that the IBU Anti-Doping Hearing panel will decide about the period of ineligibility for both athletes. The 22-year-old Loginov tested positive for an unspecified banned substance on November 25 and was expelled from the 2014-15 Biathlon World Cup.

Sednev, who won a bronze medal at the 2011 world championships and announced his retirement last month, tested positive for Erythropoietin (EPO), which is a blood boosting hormone. In a statement, the Ukrainian Biathlon federation (UBF) said it had questioned Sednev who was unable to explain or refute the use of illegal substances. The UBF said on its official website the athlete was given the opportunity of opening the B sample. But as Sednev had finished his career after poor results over the past seasons, he decided not to conduct the further analysis.

In the recent past, Biathlon has been hit by many doping scandals. Under the new anti-doping measures, Russian athletes Ekaterina Iourieva and Irina Starykh are expected to face extended bans due to the result of their samples being re-analyzed. Ekaterina and Irina tested positive for Erythropoietin (EPO) before the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Iourieva received an eight-year doping ban for her second offense while Starkh received a ban of two years for her failed drugs test. None of the athletes requested their B-samples to be tested. The sample of Starykh was collected in Oberhof, Germany, on January 2, 2014 and the samples of Iourieva were collected for re-analysis in Östersund, Sweden, on November 28 and 29, 2013. Iourieva announced her retirement from the sport after she failed her second doping test.

In February last year, two-time Olympic champion Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle of Germany was caught doping.

In December, IBU vice-president Gottlieb Taschler was criticized after it was alleged that he arranged a meeting with Michele Ferrari, the disgraced doctor who played a big role in the Lance Armstrong doping scandal, and his son Daniel Taschler, who is a member of the Italian biathlon team.

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Sunday 09, Nov 2014

  Canada Does Not Have Organized Doping System

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Canada Does Not Have Organized Doping System

An independent agency working on behalf of Cycling Canada has remarked that there is no overarching doping program in the country. The agency however disclosed in a report that Canada must improve its efforts to build a better educational platform for discouraging the use of performance enhancing drugs.

The report, entitled “National Consultation on Doping Activity in the Sport of Cycling,” emphasized on different areas of sport ethics like decision making, testing, and the culture of cycling and performance enhancing drugs. The report said there may have been isolated cases of performance enhancing drug use but they were not part of a national culture of performance enhancing drug use in elite cycling.

In a release, Greg Mathieu, chief executive officer of Cycling Canada, said we are pleased to hear that the report confirms that there is no ‘culture of doping’ in Canadian Cycling. Mathieu added we have been very clear in the past that Cycling Canada does not tolerate any athletes who try to cheat on their way to better performances and also remarked that we believe that it is possible to win at Olympic Games, World championships, or any other international or national events without the use of any doping agents.

The findings come after a series of confessions from professional cyclist from North America to using performance enhancing drugs through the “Reasoned Decision” of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). The USADA repot centered on Lance Armstrong and his U.S. Postal Service team.

Danish rider Michael Rasmussen in his autobiography, “Yellow Fever,” had remarked that he taught Canadians Ryder Hesjedal, Michael Barry, Seamus McGrath, and Chris Sheppard on how to use Erythropoietin (EPO). While Michael Barry admitted to using PEDs during his time on the USPS team the other two cyclists later admitted to using performance enhancing drugs on another instances.

Sheppard received a two-year suspension in 2005 after recombinant erythropoietin (rEPO) was found in his system. The cyclist was subjected to an out-of-competition urine test at his home in Kamloops on May 29, 2005. In 2013, Canadian mountain biker and Olympian Seamus McGrath admitted to doping. The cyclist had won silver in cross country at the 2002 Commonwealth Games and received bronze at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.

McGrath was placed ninth in the cross country event at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Hesjedal, winner of the 2012 Giro d’Italia, admitted to doping after accusations by Rasmussen. His team Garmin-Sharp said Hesjedal had testified to the US Anti-Doping Agency and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports (CCES) much before the story of Rasmussen came out. Barry confessed to doping after he was named in the USADA report in the Lance Armstrong doping scandal. The cyclist said that he realized doping had become an endemic problem in professional cycling not long after he joined the US Postal Service team in 2002. Barry claimed he stopped doping in 2006 after he joined the T-Mobile team. Michael Barry admitted to using Erythropoietin (EPO), Human growth hormone (hGH) and Testosterone and accepted a six-month ban beginning September 10, 2012.

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Friday 26, Sep 2014

  UCI Leads World Sports In Anti-Doping

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The UCI president Brian Cookson has remarked cycling is leading the way in which global sports are fighting against doping. Cookson made this remark as he reflected on his first year as head of the world governing body of cycling.

Cookson has managed to bring back a significant portion of cycling’s respect after revelations by disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong who claimed the controversial Pat McQuaid overlooked doping practices. Cookson remarked he believes cycling has made a lot of progress already after it lost the confidence of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) after the Lance Armstrong doping scandal. The UCI President added one of the first things we have done is to establish a very good relationship with WADA and added we have gone out of our way to rebuild relations with them, and to reshape our anti-doping practices in accordance with their rules.

Brian Cookson added we have had an independent audit on our anti-doping program, which has put forward recommendations we are in the process of fulfilling. He remarked we have completed the process of making the Cycling Anti-doping Foundation operational without any of the UCI Management Committee involved and also said so we have been working very hard towards the things we set out to do. The UCI chief as far as the fight against doping goes and he believes the key phrase is ‘eternal vigilance’. Cookson said we are now the leading sport in terms of anti-doping and added he does not know of any other sport that has thrown itself open to this amount of external scrutiny.

Cookson also remarked that keeping doping out of cycling is a critical part of keeping cycling alive. The UCI chief said it is always his intention to make clear the moral and ethical case against doping and added while we are talking about that, there is also an economic driver here. He also said media, sponsors, fans and the public don’t want to be involved in a sport where doping is a big problem and remarked we saw a clear example of this in 2008 when the German media pulled out of covering cycling at professional level and remarked at one time there were three top pro teams in Germany – at the moment there are none.

Doping scandals have engulfed other sports in the last few months. Late last year, Wimbledon tennis champion Andy Murray criticized Serbia’s Viktor Troicki and Croatian player Marin Cilic and termed their doping offences as “unprofessional.” It was claimed by Troicki that he was feeling unwell and the doping control officer said to him that he would be able to provide the blood sample the following day that was denied by the official concerned. Cilic blamed his positive test on glucose tablets purchased by his mother at a pharmacy in Monte Carlo.  Troicki received a suspension of 12 months for failing to provide a blood sample while Cilic was banned for nine months after he tested positive for the banned supplement, Nikethamide. The ban imposed on Cilic was reduced to four months and he went on to win the recently-concluded US Open.

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Sunday 17, Aug 2014

  Kreuziger Admits Working With Banned Ferrari, Sidelined By Tinkoff-Saxo

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Roman Kreuziger (Saxo-Tinkoff), winner of the 2013 Amstel Gold Race, has admitted to working with disgraced doctor Michele Ferrari. Kreuziger said he consulted the doping doctor from the autumn of 2006 through 2007.

Kreuziger claims that he was unaware that the controversial doctor had been banned. The cyclist said he believed Ferrari was one of the best coaches in the world and remarked he never doped. Ferrari has been banned twice for doping, including the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

In 2002, Michele Ferrari was prohibited from working cyclists in Italy after allegations that he assisted riders to dope with Testosterone, EPO, and other banned methods or products.

Kreuziger was considered one of the biggest talents of the sport after winning the 2004 Junior Road World Championships and the 2008 Tour de Suisse at the age of 22. He won the 2009 Tour de Romandie after completing his first Grand Tour after finishing 21st in the Vuelta a España. Kreuziger won the Giro di Sardegna in 2010, finished third in Paris-Nice, and finished 9th overall in the Tour de France.

In June 2013, UCI first notified Kreuziger that Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation regarded his data as suspect and the rider subsequently informed his team. The team’s press release said Kreuziger was adamant that he never used doping methods or substances and added the team was satisfied through its own medical staff and independent verification that Roman’s blood profile had valid medical and scientific explanations other than the use of doping methods or substances and this was subsequently confirmed by the expert opinions Roman shared with the team.

Former Liquigas teammate of Kreuziger, Leonardo Bertagnolli pointed to Kreuziger in an affidavit dated May 18, 2011. Bertagnolli remarked he know many of his teammates went to Ferrari because we talked about it and the team knew: Franco] Pellizotti, Roman Kreuziger, Enrico Gasparotto, and Francesco Chicchi. A Saxo-Tinkoff representative remarked at that time that the team will support Kreuziger and let the national federation decide.

The Czech professional road bicycle racer for UCI ProTour team Team Tinkoff-Saxo was sidelined by his Tinkoff-Saxo team in June 2014 after he faced doping allegations. The team, in a statement published on its website, said the Union Cycliste Internationale is likely due to instigate disciplinary proceedings against (Kreuziger) arising from an alleged violation of its anti-doping rules due to abnormalities detected in his biological passport in 2011 and 2012. Meanwhile, Kreuziger denied he had taken any forbidden substances or used any forbidden methods and said that an independent inquiry concluded that his passport values were due to causes that were not due to the use of doping substances or methods.

The UCI’s Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CAFD) alleged that the blood passport profile of Kreuziger, when he rode for Astana, demonstrated abnormalities from March to August 2011 and from April 2012 until the end of that year’s Giro d’Italia.

Kreuziger pending further details is off the Tour team and will not compete in any other events. The rider will however not receive a provisionally suspension unless ordered by the UCI or the Czech federation.

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Saturday 08, Feb 2014

  Ban On Lance Armstrong May Be Reduced

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Ban on lance armstrong may be reduced

Brian Cookson, the Union Cycliste Internationale president, has remarked that the lifetime ban for doping imposed on Lance Armstrong may be reduced if the disgraced cyclist offers information that is useful in doping investigations.

In September, Cookson became the president of the world governing body of cycling (UCI) and he then established the Cycling Independent Reform Commission to examine the history of doping in professional cycling. The UCI President remarked that the terms of reference of the commission might include an agreement with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to reduce sanctions on cyclists who come forward clean to cooperate with the inquiry. Cookson remarked there will be the possibility of a reduction in the case of Lance Armstrong if the cyclist offers information to assist any investigation but also remarked the world governing body of cycling does not have the power to make such a deal as Lance was sanctioned by USADA. Cookson said USADA has to agree to any reduction in his sanction based on the validity and strength of the information that he provided.

The Union Cycliste Internationale president added that he will not call Armstrong, who was banned for life and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles. Cookson added he would encourage everyone to tell all of the truth and added it will be better and less painful for everyone if people tell the truth and all the truth.

In another development, U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s Travis Tygart kicked off the Triathlon Business International conference and said the Lance Armstrong doping scandal highlighted the win-at-all-costs culture that exists in almost every aspect of society. Tygart said it is this culture that not only permeates sports but that every other institution in this country and around the world is facing. He added cycling is not alone and doping exists in everything from inline roller skating to youth soccer, and at all age and sport levels. Tygart encouraged leaders in the sports world and race organizers to speak up and remarked the worst anyone can do is sit on information and not do anything.

Tygart added that the United States Anti-Doping Agency works to protect those who offer reliable information. He said the decision to move forward against a global icon and team that won seven Tours is a difficult decision and it would have been far easier if his duty to the sport is to raise revenues and have world titles remain intact but if that’s his duty as a sports leader, his duty to police himself is impossible. Tygart added that USADA became conscious of the depth and breadth of the doping culture in professional cycling after meetings with individuals to gather information in the Lance Armstrong doping case. He said the agency took quick action as it had evidence that athletes set to be on the U.S. Olympic cycling team were doping and remarked it would have been a shame if those athletes had gone to London and their doping came out and that would have tainted the entire U.S. Olympic team. The USADA CEO said that was one set of urgent facts and our other goal was to dismantle the system and we’re still heavily pursuing that goal.

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Sunday 22, Dec 2013

  Anti-Doping Drive On Track, Says Cycling Legend

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Anti-Doping Drive On Track, Says Cycling Legend

Sean Kelly, legendary Irish cyclist, has remarked it is now impossible to cheat in cycling and this is all due to the fallout from the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

Kelly, speaking ahead of Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge, said such a deceit would never happen again because of the reforms implemented by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the sport’s governing body. The 57-year-old, who won 193 professional races including seven consecutive editions of the Paris-Nice event in a career that spanned from 1977 to 1994, said products were out there before controls were able to detect them but now he thinks it’s the reverse, with biological passports, you can see if there are any abnormalities. He added it’s impossible to cheat now and he is very confident that those days are over.

Lance Armstrong was banned for life and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after the United States Anti-Doping Agency accused the cyclist of using banned drugs. The cyclist admitted in January this year of using performance enhancing drugs throughout his career.

Britain’s Chris Froome will bid next year to become the first cyclist to win back-to-back Le Tours since Miguel Indurain won five in a row in the early 1990s. Kelly believes the focus is now to prove dominance that can be attained without drugs. He remarked we cannot go back to a situation like we had in the past because that would be the death of the sport and now things are looking good, everybody is more confident and sponsors are coming back in and we have to keep on this road.

Kelly went on to add that innocent people have been branded as cheats, and it’s not right and that’s where he thinks the UCI really has to look at clarifying the difference between substances and categorizing them. Kelly, a veteran of 193 race wins, twice tested positive for banned substances during his career but claimed both instances were due to “minor and stupid” accidental intakes. He remarked you can’t just point the finger at Armstrong as there was an era of 15 to 20 years where doping grew and a lot of big names were taken out.

Kelly said the top five cyclists in his time were on good money, but now you can have an eight-year career, win five races and be made for life. He also remarked more pressure comes from greater salaries and sponsors wanted to get more exposure and teams all wanted a slice of the cake because they had to survive but that doesn’t mean you have to go to drugs. Kelly added you can have a good sport without it and riders just go a little bit slower, the race isn’t as fast and aggressive, but the racing is still as good and we’ve seen that over the past couple of years. He also said many of the guys want to take it forward now and make it a clean sport and it was a problem at its height and many just wanted to get out of that scene and it went on for far too long.

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Tuesday 16, Jul 2013

  McQuaid Pledges To Continue Anti-Doping Fight

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McQuaid Pledges To Continue Anti-Doping Fight

UCI president Pat McQuaid has pledged to continue the fight against doping if he is elected again as president of the International Cycling Union (UCI).

McQuaid said he has introduced the most sophisticated and effective anti-doping infrastructure in world sport to cycling and it is now possible to race and win clean. The UCI president is facing stiff competition from British Cycling Brian Cookson, who is a member of the UCI management committee, for the presidential post.

Cookson, the current president of the British Cycling, pledged to establish an independent body to manage anti-doping if he is elected president of the International Cycling Union (UCI). His candidacy is based on restoring credibility in the UCI after the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

The 62-year-old Cookson remarked the reality is that the UCI is not trusted, our anti-doping is not seen to be independent and we don’t have the trust of the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) and the other key anti-doping agencies. He went on to remark that the anti-doping service within the UCI headquarters at the moment is just down the corridor of the president’s office so that can’t be right. He also added that he would quickly establish a completely independent anti-doping unit, in co-operation with WADA if elected president and it will be managed and governed outside of the UCI so people can have absolute confidence in our sport.

In his manifesto for running for the UCI presidency, McQuaid pledged to make the UCI’s Cycling Anti Doping Foundation more independent and help fund it by increasing the UCI World Tour teams’ contributions to anti-doping and modernize how cycling is presented as a global sport. He also pledged to  establish an independent audit of the UCI’s actions when Lance Armstrong was winning the Tour de France, from 1999 to 2005 and set up an independent UCI Women’s Commission with responsibility for developing all disciplines of women’s cycling. McQuaid added that his mission now is to preserve the changed culture within the peloton and team entourage and foster the global development of cycling.

McQuaid also remarked that the governing body of cycling now invests over USD 7.5million (£5m) every year to keep the sport clean and to catch and prosecute those riders who refuse to embrace the new culture of clean cycling. The UCI president also added that the misdeeds of a few should not be allowed to tarnish the reputation of cycling or today’s riders. He added that Lance Armstrong and issues related to him should not affect the September vote and added this election should be about cycling today and cycling tomorrow. Cycling officials worldwide were not as concerned with the Armstrong case, McQuaid suggested. The chief of cycling’s governing body also remarked they see it as a scandal that has happened in the past. He also revealed that they are more interested in how they see the UCI developing the sport and that is the basis he is standing on and there is work still to continue.

McQuaid is seeking a third four-year term in office at the UCI’s election congress on September 27.

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Friday 28, Jun 2013

  Armstrong Urges Cycling To Come Clean

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Armstrong Urges Cycling To Come Clean

Lance Armstrong recently surprised all by jumping in to play the role of an anti-doping crusader, during a question and answer session on Twitter.

The American rider raised a question for British cycling boss @Brian Cookson who is campaigning to unseat Pat McQuaid as president of the International Cycling Union when elections come around in September. Armstrong asked Brian if he has any plans to convene a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to fully understand the mistakes of previous generations. Brian replied that he would back such a process, if legal and other issues can be worked out.

Lance Armstrong: “Question for @cooksonforuci – any plans to convene a Truth and Rec Commission to FULLY understand the mistakes of previous generations?”

Brian Cookson: “@lancearmstrong See my reply to @CrisTT Also would support a full truth and rec process if legal and practical hurdles can be overcome.”

(The reply to @CrisTT read: “I would prioritise the allegations which implicate the UCI in cover-ups. Must be investigated independently and quickly.”)

The president of British Cycling also remarked that he would prioritize the allegations which implicate the UCI in cover-ups – must be investigated independently and quickly. Cookson also remarked that he was also in favor of longer bans for convicted dopers, but wanted teams and the “enablers” of doping to be targeted as well as riders. The British Cycling chief added that he wanted to see cycling grow, with a particular focus on women’s cycling and was determined to safeguard place of the sport at the Olympics. The road to his election may be smooth with an extraordinary general meeting of Cycling Ireland’s members voted 91-74 against putting McQuaid forward for another term in charge. Also, McQuaid’s attempt to qualify for the presidential vote via the Swiss cycling federation is the subject of an appeal.

Cookson decided to stay mum on questions raised by journalist Paul Kimmage who had asked if he has a party to sue Floyd Landis and if suing whistleblowers is in his manifesto. He replied that Paul is one of many journalists who deserve respect for the work they have put into exposing doping in cycling and he cannot answer his concerns directly because they involve legal actions which are still live but committed to answering them in full as soon as he is able to. Cookson added that the UCI, if he gets elected in September, will not use the courts to silence whistle-blowers, journalists or other dissenting voices and this should not be taken as UCI’s inability to communicate its own point of view or correct inaccuracies or unbalanced comment when appropriate but and added that he is a firm believer in freedom of debate as being good for the long-term health of any sport.

In the last few months, there have been rumors that Armstrong has given an impression to cycling authorities about his doping activities but they have so far come to nothing. Cycling authorities have been talking for a while about a “year zero” commission for dealing with the blood-doping era of the sport since the Lance Armstrong doping scandal but the process has failed to even get started due to legal concerns about how it would work in practice, and more fundamental worries about who would pay for it.

In another development, UCI president Pat McQuaid is waiting for a visit and an apology from Lance Armstrong and said the cyclist should travel to UCI headquarters in Switzerland to tell all about his doping history and offer to help clean up the sport. He also defended himself, former president Hein Verbruggen, and the UCI by saying the facts show the UCI was always the most advanced federation in the fight against doping and the problem was the products that couldn’t be tested for at the time. McQuaid added that there were no tests available for the products and the UCI was not to blame.

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