Quick-Step pays UCI, will race in Paris-Nice
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Friday, March 6, 2009

Quick-Step pays UCI, will race in Paris-Nice

by VeloNation Press at 12:55 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Team Quick-Step confirms that, as requested by the UCI, the Biological Passport payment which means the team will be able to take the start in Paris-Nice this Sunday.

The first € 30,000 payment was made March 4th, the second of € 90,000 was paid early this afternoon, Friday March 6th, for the total amount of € 120,000 which is the amount established for each ProTour team for the season.

"Through the IPCT a proposal was made to the UCI to divide the payment into 4 instalments of € 30.000," Team Manager Patrick Lefevere explained, "The first was to be paid before the Paris Nice, the second by April 1st, the third by July 1st and the fourth instalment had to be paid by October 1st."

It seems that there was some sort of disconnect between the IPCT and the UCI.

"In our opinion, the payments should have followed the progress of the biological passport programme over the course of the season. It is not our intention to doubt on the usefulness or validity of the programme, which we have always supported, and which we have believed in since the beginning. We simply feel it would be more correct to spread the payment throughout the course of the season." added Lefevere.

He continued to say, "The UCI did not accept our request, and they ordered the team to pay € 60,000 or risk being excluded from the Paris Nice. Thus we have decided the full and total payment today for the Biological Passport, paying an additional € 90,000 (for the total amount of 120.000 Euro) to avoid speculation about the team and to show once more that it wasn’t a question of economics, but a point of principle, which evidently was not well received."

In the current climate cycling teams are very sensitive when it comes to doping in the sport. So much so, that rather than argue the apparent lack of communication between the teams and the UCI, for Team Quick-Step paying the balance for the biological passport was the most prudent route to take.

With an on form Sylvain Chavanel, the team stands a good chance at victory after the week long race.

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