UCI’s Professional Cycling Council recommends four year doping bans
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

UCI’s Professional Cycling Council recommends four year doping bans

by Conal Andrews at 3:10 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Governing body said it’ll stand firm on race radio situation

Pat McQuaidUCI President Pat McQuaid has stated in the past that he wants to the standard two year ban doubled for serious doping offences, and that now appears set to happen after the UCI’s Professional Cycling Council (CCP) discussed the issue today.

An unspecified penalty system could also be introduced in relation to teams signing previously-suspended riders. This may relate to the points clocked up by the rider on their return.

“Over the first half of the day the CCP discussed at length the fundamental principles of the anti-doping campaign, in particular the length of suspension to be imposed in the event of a first serious violation of the rules,” stated the UCI.

“After analysing in detail the existing legal framework, notably the World Anti-Doping Code, and other constraints that must be taken into account in the evaluation and management of every doping case, the CCP decided to recommend increasing the suspension period for doping offences involving a serious substance from two to four years.

“The CCP also asked the UCI to look into the possibility of introducing a system of penalties to be applied to teams looking to take on a rider returning to cycling after a period of suspension for a doping offence.”

Longer sanctions for a first offence have long been proposed as a way to further dissuade riders from using banned methods and substances, and would be a step forward for clean sport. McQuaid stated at today’s meeting in Milan that WADA had congratulated the governing body for its handling of recent cases.

UCI standing firm on radio issue:

As stated earlier, the professional teams’ association AIGCP reaffirmed its determination to fight the race radio ban today. In a statement, it said that it and the riders’ association CPA had been uninvited from the CCP meeting in Milan. For the first time, it officially confirmed rumours that the teams would boycott the Tour of Beijing in October if the UCI didn’t relent by May 1st.

The UCI commented on their absence and on the Tour of Beijing issue, saying that it wouldn’t budge on the subject of radios.

It stated that McQuaid said that the AIGCP’s president Jonathan Vaughters and the CPA’s chief Gianni Bugno had been ‘formally invited to choose between participating in the meeting and standing by the AIGCP and CPA in their threat to launch boycotts and strikes against the proposed ban on the use of earpieces during races.’

“While regretting their decision not to take part in today’s constructive discussion, particularly as regards the safety aspects of the issue, President McQuaid regretfully noted this new element of tension in the situation,” it stated. “It will not, however, change the UCI’s position on the subject.”

Several teams reaffirmed their support for the AIGCP issue today by resending the press release. With a month and a half to go until the May 1st deadline, the issue shows no sign of moving towards a resolution.


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