MPCC calls on UCI and ProTeams to ramp up fight against doping
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Sunday, June 12, 2011

MPCC calls on UCI and ProTeams to ramp up fight against doping

by Shane Stokes at 8:07 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Wants Code of Conduct to be enforced, riders under disciplinary proceedings to be sidelined

A drive to ramp up the fight against doping has been called for by the Movement for a Credible Cycling (MPCC), which wants the UCI ProTeams to once again follow the Code of Conduct which was introduced in December 2004. It also wants riders subject to disciplinary proceedings to be sidelined from competition until such time as they are cleared.

The MPCC met on Thursday in Macon, getting together during the Critérium du Dauphiné and just under a month before the start of the Tour de France. Representatives from the seven member teams were present, namely AG2R La Mondiale, Bretagne-Schuller, Cofidis, Europcar, FDJ, Garmin-Cervélo and Skil-Shimano. HTC-Highroad and Rabobank were previously part of the organization, but left it some time ago.

Those seven current teams have re-signed the Code of Conduct and notified the UCI of this. The Code, which is replicated below, lays out strict rules for teams to follow. Some stand-out points include a commitment not to sign riders sanctioned for serious doping offences for a period of four years. This ruling was followed for several years by UCI ProTour teams, but put to one side by several of them after Liquigas controversially broke it in signing Ivan Basso in 2008.

It represented an additional penalty to the UCI’s standard two year ban from competition, forcing such riders to compete first with Pro Continental teams before rejoining the ProTour level.

The Code of Conduct also lays out strict guidelines suspending riders from competition if they are under official investigation, and requires all riders to provide teams with compete information of any individuals involved in their ‘physical, medical or psychological preparation.’

The MPCC has called on the UCI to reintroduce this Code of Conduct, and to require ProTeams to commit to it.

Additional measures:

The MPCC took note of the decisions by the UCI to ban the use of injections by riders, and to sideline for 48 hours from competition any riders who have been given gluco-corticosteroids.

It stated that it has had this provision in place for the past four years, requiring a tougher eight day suspension from competition. It added that it ‘continues, with an independent expert, and without notice, to check the cortisol riders during competition, to ensure that this rule is applied.’

It presumably wants to see similar random screenings carried out throughout the peloton.

The MPCC requests that a four year sanction for serious doping offences to become standard, and proposes a study to examine if teams should also be given a penalty when one of its riders tests positive.

It also wants teams, sponsors and race organisers to only allow riders to compete who are not subject to disciplinary proceedings.

This would appear to rule out Alberto Contador, who will line out in the Tour de France in three weeks time despite his pending appointment with the Court of Aribitration for Sport. MPCC president Roger Legeay spoke to AFP and while he didn’t name the Spaniard, he said that he wants there to be no doubt over riders competing in events. “You can’t take part in races with a risk of disqualification.”


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CODE OF CONDUCT FOR UCI PROTEAMS (signed in Aigle, 14 December 2004):

Preamble:

The UCI ProTeams wish, in drawing up and signing this code of conduct, to indicate clearly their commitment in favour of strict compliance with the rules that keep sport fair.

In this respect, the introduction of the UCI ProTour, with its call for excellence, offers a
historic opportunity.

The UCI ProTeams underline that the application of the rules of conduct below is in addition to their undertaking of to comply strictly with the rules of the UCI, including in particular the regulations concerning the health of riders (part XIII) and the UCI antidoping regulations (part XIV).

The UCI ProTeams undertake to:

I. Put health and sporting ethics at the forefront of their activities.

II. Respect the principle of fair play and behave with respect to the public, riders, organisers, teams and the national and international bodies.

III. Allow riders to do their job in the best possible conditions.

IV. Rule out any form of remuneration to the support team and medical staff based on performance or riders' results.

V. Ask all riders to notify their employer in writing of the contact details for their personal trainer(s), doctor(s) and any other person outside the team involved in their physical, medical or psychological preparation.

VI. Set up an information and prevention system for the riders concerning the dangers involved in doping practices.

VII. Remind riders that they must provide precise information on their whereabouts to any body empowered under the World Antidoping Code that requests it, so that unannounced anti-doping tests can be carried out at any time.

VIII. Without prejudice to the right to terminate the contract for serious misconduct, not to enter any licence-holder for events who is subject to disciplinary proceedings for a breach of the UCI antidoping regulations, by any competent body under the World Antidoping Code.

IX. Without prejudice to the right to terminate the contract for serious misconduct, not to enter any licence-holder for events who is subject to judicial proceedings or investigation for facts relating to sporting activity, or any act constituting a breach of the UCI antidoping regulations, or any other intentional criminal act.

1. as from the opening of the investigation or proceedings:
• if the facts are admitted by the party in question, or
• if information from an official source available to the UCI ProTeam shows that the facts in question cannot be seriously contested;

2. in other cases, as from the date of referral by the investigating body or, where no such procedure applies, the date of the summons to the accused to appear before the trial judge for sentencing.

X. If the facts referred to in article IX are the subject of a disciplinary proceedings covered by article VIII, only article VIII shall apply. However, if following the disciplinary proceedings the party involved is required to appear before the trial judge, he shall not be entered for events from one month before the disciplinary hearing until the date of the judgement.

If under the applicable law the disciplinary proceedings have to be suspended because of judicial proceedings covered by article IX, the accused will not be entered for events from one month before the disciplinary hearing and until the date of the decision.

XI. Dismiss, in compliance with the national law applicable to the contract, any rider or other member of the team found guilty of a breach of the UCI antidoping regulations, by any sporting or judicial body, or found guilty by a judicial body of a deliberate criminal offence in connection with sporting activity. This rule shall not apply to cases covered by the second paragraph of article XII.

The right of dismissal for any valid reason shall remain reserved.

3. XII. For a period of four years after the judgement, not to contract in the team any person who has been found guilty of a fact constituting an intentional violation of the UCI antidoping regulations

For the purposes of the present document, the following shall not be considered as intentional violations:

a. offences for which the person is found guilty under article 262 of the UCI antidoping regulations (specific substances);

b. offences for which article 264 or 265 of the UCI antidoping regulations have been applied (absence of fault or negligence or of significant fault or negligence) ;

c. offences for which article 266 of the UCI antidoping regulations has been applied, except where the person is found guilty of an offence relating to article 15.6.2 (possession by supporting staff), 15.7 (trafficking) or 15.8 (administration to a rider). (The references to the numbering of articles of the anti-doping regulations relate to the version in force in 2005);

d. any other offence for which the party involved produces plausible evidence before the president of the Licence Commission that it was unintentional.

The present rule shall apply to any disciplinary findings on or after 1 January 2005. The following shall not be taken into account:

• an appeal ruling where an initial ruling was made before 1 January 2005 ;
• a disciplinary ruling where a legal judgement has been made before 1 January 2005 ;
• a legal judgement where there has been a disciplinary ruling before 1 January 2005.

XIII. Any problems with the application of articles VIII to XII shall be submitted to the president of the Licence Commission or such replacement as he may appoint, whose decision shall be definitive and enforceable and shall not be subject to any appeal.

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