Dutch teams introduce Truth and Reconciliation-style approach
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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Dutch teams introduce Truth and Reconciliation-style approach

by Reno Van Dael at 5:45 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Big penalties for riders who don’t speak honestly

KNWUNew measures have been launched in recent days by the Dutch cycling federation KNWU, the Dutch Doping Authority and the WorldTour teams Vacansoleil DCM, Blanco Pro Cycling and Argos – Shimano, which seeks to toughen the fight against doping and also to determine the truth about the past.

Riders will be obliged to speak honestly about their histories, and for those who admit using banned substances, there will be penalties of various lengths. As an incentive for riders to tell the truth, those who have used performance enhancing products but who lie about that usage and are then pinpointed in that regard, the punishment will be far tougher.

One of those pushing for change is the KNWU chairman Marcel Wintels, who is part of the drive in moving forward a procedure that creates an opportunity to restore the credibility of cycling as a professional sport.

The procedure calls on teams and their personnel, fans, sponsors and other stakeholders to take their responsibility.

In conjunction with the National Federation, the three top professional Dutch cycling teams will set an example and they've agreed on a set of measurements to make a change happen. This will see them adjust their hiring and screening procedures and encourage other stakeholders in the sport to extend their measures internationally.

Part of this joint approach to create a credible and fair sport is a system that one might call a Truth and Reconciliation process. All employees of both the teams and federation (that includes active riders, team directors and other staff members) are explicitly asked to be honest and open about their past. Teams and federation have steered towards a balanced approach that does includes sanctions but also looks after the
interests and perspectives of those involved.

In two respects the so called 'zero tolerance' policy is upheld:

- Riders and staff members who in the past have been sanctioned for more than six months for a breach of anti-doping regulations will not be hired to form part of those professional teams in the future.

- Current and future employments are to contain a clause stating the use of PED's or methods and other breaches of the anti-doping regulations are to be followed by immediate dismissal.

Before April 1st 2013, all employees are presented a declaration and questionnaire (the so called Declaration of Conduct) that is to be returned signed and to be filled out truthfully. There will be repercussions for riders who have broken the rules about using banned substances.

The penalties are as follows:

- For occurrences of anti-doping violations that took place after 1/1/2008: in correspondence with current policy, immediate dismissal will be carried out.

- For occurrences of anti-doping violations that took place before 1/1/2008: a milder and less far-reaching sanction will follow. Riders and staff members who this concerns will be offered to keep their job after a six months suspension has been served, with a deduction of salary during the first three months of said suspension.

The Dutch anti-doping authority, which has been part of the negotiations that lead to this set of measurements, agreed on the condition that all personnel involved are to cooperate fully and unconditionally with its investigation of the anti-doping violations.

If the occurrence that those who are to be presented to sign a declaration of conduct that no anti-doping violations have been made are implicated in further investigation which shows that their declaration was not correct or complete, immediate dismissal will follow. The rider or staff member will be barred from a future return to the sport with Dutch teams.


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