New Change Cycling Now group launched to push for reform of UCI and cycling
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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

New Change Cycling Now group launched to push for reform of UCI and cycling

by Shane Stokes at 2:14 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Fuller, Ashenden, Vayer, Kimmage, Walsh first named members, more to follow

Change Cycling NowFeaturing some of those who have been most critical of the UCI in recent months, a new group called Change Cycling Now has been launched today and is aiming for push for reforms within cycling’s governing body and the sport itself.

The group currently includes the outspoken anti-doping scientist Dr. Michael Ashenden, cycling trainer Antoine Vayer, Skins chairman Jaimie Fuller, former pro and journalist/author Paul Kimmage and journalist/author David Walsh. More are expected to join in the days, weeks and months ahead

Change Cycling Now has been founded with the stated aim of being a global pressure group with the goal of forcing change on cycling’s international governing body and also proposing a positive vision for the future of the sport.

It believes that the UCI mishandled the sport, both during the Lance Armstrong era and since, and is joining others in pushing for reform.

Change Cycling Now will hold its first meeting on Sunday and Monday, with the two-day summit plotting out the steps the group hopes the sport will take and also pushing for independent anti-doping controls.

Some of the measures have already been called for by others in the cycling community, including some riders and team managers, as well as a ‘Manifesto for a Credible Cycling’ unveiled by six prominent international newspapers at the end of October.

Like Change Cycling Now, De Telegraaf (Netherlands), Le Soir and Het Nieuwsblad (Belgium), The Times (UK), La Gazzetta dell Sport (Italy) and L'Equipe (France) are also of the opinion that the UCI shoulders a portion of blame for what happened in the sport, and want a completely independent testing body to oversee the sport.

The members of Change Cycling Now will all debate the issues at the first meeting on Sunday and Monday, while USADA CEO Travis Tygart – who did much of the work which led to sanctions finally being imposed on Armstrong – will speak via conference call from the US. He will talk about the rights of clean athletes and the integrity of sport.

Fuller has played a big part in setting up the group and lays out his reasons for doing so. “The creation of Change Cycling Now reflects the frustration and anger that I, and many people directly involved in the sport feel towards the UCI and their management practices,” he said.

“I believe we have put together a very strong core group which represents the feelings of thousands of people within the sport who want to see definite change. It would be easy to sit around and criticise and accuse, but we shall be discussing positive ways to effect the future with changes that can move us back towards a sport that has integrity and is also clean and credible.

“I am in no doubt that this group also represents the millions of cycling fans who share the views of those who will be around the table. We will also be exploring ways to ensure that these fans can join with us to send an unequivocal message to the UCI and its officers that the current approach is simply not good enough.”

The meeting will be followed by a press conference in Monday. Before then, more members of the group will be named and will presumably also have an input into the conference.

Of those taking part, both Kimmage and Fuller are taking legal action against the UCI. Kimmage had previously faced a libel case which the UCI has now suspended. At the start of this month he lodged a criminal complaint in the Swiss courts. Fuller followed suit with his own action three days later, and is seeking $2 million from the UCI over what he says are damages to his company’s business due to their inaction.

He has said that if he wins the case, that the money will be put back into clean cycling.

UCI president Pat McQuaid and former chief Hein Verbruggen have denied any responsibility for the doping in cycling. They have refused to accept any share of blame in what happened.

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