IOC chief Rogge says cycling's place in Olympics not under threat
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Saturday, September 25, 2010

IOC chief Rogge says cycling's place in Olympics not under threat

by Conal Andrews at 12:13 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Applauds efforts made by the sport to clean up

Jacques RoggeEncouraged by efforts made to combat doping in cycling, IOC president Jacques Rogge has said that the sport is under no danger of being dropped from the Olympics.

Some, including other IOC members, had previously said it should go after being hit by various drug scandals, but the Belgian said that there is no question of this happening.

“There is no discussion on the place of the UCI in the Olympic Games," he told AP yesterday. “As long as a sport is working hard, it deserves a place. Otherwise, you throw out the baby with the bath water. [Doing so] would not bring you further.”

Rogge applauded the efforts of the UCI, who he said has tried to rectify the problem. It introduced the biological passport system and conducts a huge number of tests, both in- and out of competition, and has kept the pressure on riders not to break the rules.

Because of that, he feels the sport has moved on from the days of the Landis, Rasmussen and CERA affairs.

“They deserve to be supported,” he said, referring to the UCI. “They have to continue to work hard. Yes, there has been a cultural problem in cycling about doping, which we hope is now over. As long as they fight hard against it, they deserve their place.”

Cycling does face the prospect of many more negative headlines, though, depending on the outcome of the current federal investigation into the US Postal Service Team and many riders, including seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong. This investigation reportedly evolved out of investigations into the Rock Racing team, but gained momentum when Armstrong’s former team-mate Floyd Landis claimed that the Texan and many others used banned substances and methods.

Rogge said that the current investigation was a good thing, although he also said that he would not comment on the issue of Armstrong’s guilt or innocence.

"We should welcome anything that can bring to the fore doping issues,” he said, but then stated that people have to be patient and wait for the outcome. “You have to respect the presumption of innocence. Lance Armstrong has not had a positive test in his career. There are allegations from all sides. These are allegations that have yet to be proven. You have to wait and see what comes out of it.”

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