LeMond, Vaughters, Boyer and Parisotto amongst new additions to Change Cycling Now group
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Thursday, November 29, 2012

LeMond, Vaughters, Boyer and Parisotto amongst new additions to Change Cycling Now group

by Shane Stokes at 7:56 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Push for reform continues

Greg LeMondThree days before the first meeting of the new Change Cycling Now group in London, triple Tour de France winner Greg LeMond has given his backing to the setup, and is one of several important new additions.

The group is pushing for a reform of the UCI and of cycling in general, stating that it wants to bring together people from across the sport to help ensure a better future.

LeMond has long spoken out against doping in cycling and was one of the first to question Lance Armstrong on his association with the now-banned doctor Michele Ferrari.

He will be joined by other former professional riders on the panel, with Garmin – Sharp CEO and AIGCP (teams’ association) president Jonathan Vaughters plus former Cofidis team manager and Giro d’Italia stage winner Eric Boyer is also getting involved.

LeMond recently released an open letter calling on the current and former presidents of the UCI, Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen, to resign in order to enable the governing body and the sport to move on with a new approach.

He said today that the sport is facing a crossroads and that it is crucial that the right path is followed. “The report from the United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) into the Lance Armstrong affair has to be a watershed moment for professional cycling. There is still an opportunity to ensure cycling presents itself as a genuine world leader in the elimination of doping and drug taking in sport. But to do that requires a determination to force change and I am delighted to be part of a group that is full of people who are committed to the cause.”

LeMond’s call for action echoes that of the Australian scientist Robin Parisotto, He has also put his name to the Change Cycling Now group, joining fellow anti-doping researcher Michael Ashenden, who was previously confirmed.

Like Ashenden, Parisotto was part of the UCI’s biological passport panel in recent years and consequently his call for reform carries considerable weight.

“I'm a medical scientist, anti-doping researcher and current member of the Athlete Passport Management Unit – Lausanne (formerly the UCI Biological Passport Panel), and I fully support the Change Cycling Now summit being held in London,” he said.

“My hope is that this forum can help formulate a strategy and way forward out of the mess that is the UCI. To restore confidence in the sport and its anti-doping program in particular the current administration of the UCI must be held accountable for its past mismanagement made evident in the Reasoned Decision by USADA in the case of Lance Armstrong.

“This summit has the potential to herald a new beginning for this long scandal ridden (but much loved) sport."

The Change Cycling Now group was launched earlier this week with five people listed then; Ashenden, the chairman of the Skins clothing company Jaimie Fuller, the journalists Paul Kimmage and David Walsh plus the former Festina coach Antoine Vayer.

In addition to LeMond, Vaughters, Boyer and Parisotto, other names have also been linked to the group today. Former double world champion Gianni Bugno will address the group as president of the Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA), while University of Texas professor Dr. John Hoberman will also attend. His work deals with trying to use cultural change and education to dissuade athletes from doping.

Also coming on board are former pro Jörg Jaksche, who admitted doping but states the UCI showed no interest in following up the information he provided, German anti-doping journalist Hajo Seppelt, former US Postal Service soigneur, Emma O’Reilly, the co-founder of the Bike Pure anti-doping movement Andy Layhe. Cycling fans will be represented by Scott O’Raw plus Twitter’s Festinagirl.

Fuller said that the group is gaining momentum and that those present at the meeting represent a desire for change.

“In the two days since the announcement of our group, we’ve had phenomenal support and that couldn’t be better emphasised by the quality of the members we have on board,” he said. “As a Tour de France winner, Greg LeMond’s involvement should send the clearest message yet that we are a serious group with serious intentions and genuine motives. To have other former athletes and eminent academics joining us too will make for an interesting and I hope, rewarding weekend.

“The sheer fact that these people are prepared to give up their time and travel, in some cases half way around the world to participate, reflects both their passion as well as their desire to see cycling achieve the best outcome.”

After meetings on Sunday and Monday, a press conference will follow on Monday afternoon. More details will be available then.

The group is expected to continue expanding over time.

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