The teams and riders associations, the AIGCP and the CPA, are to present a united front on the fight against doping as well as on the contentious issue of the radio ban when the Pro Cycling Council (PCC) meets on Thursday. Among their proposals will be an increase of the maximum doping suspension to four years and the introduction of penalties for teams whose riders return positive tests.
In association with the Italian association of cycling medics (AIMeC), the AIGCP and CPA have drawn up a list of six proposals which they feel are required “in order to bring a decisive contribution for an increased credibility of the cycling sport.” Cyclingnews understands that they will be discussed at the PCC’s meeting on Thursday.
The PCC brings together representatives of teams, riders, race organisers and the UCI. The teams’ representatives at the PCC are Jonathan Vaughters and Roberto Amadio, while Gianni Bugno and Dario Cioni represent the riders. Charly Mottet and Christian Prudhomme represent the race organisers, while members of the PCC designated by the UCI include Stephen Roche, Roger Legeay and Erik Zabel. Vittorio Adorni presides over the council, which offers a forum for the discussion of cycling legislation but does not have the power to change it.
The first proposal of the AIGCP, CPA and AIMeC is a call for the current maximum suspension of two years to be increased to four in the case of positive tests for certain products and practices. These include gene doping, androgenic steroids, EPO and related products, autologous and homologous blood transfusions, and all other products and methods aimed at “the improvement of oxygen transport.”
They will also request that the gap between the opening of disciplinary proceedings and the issue of a final assessment does not exceed three months, and they will seek a review of existing anti-doping regulation in regard to cases of contamination. Under the current WADA code, an athlete has strict liability for any substance found in a sample, although there is flexibility when sanctions are considered.
The biological passport will also come up for discussion, with the AIGCP, CPA and AIMeC praising the tool as a means of “identifying athletes who are to undergo stricter doping controls on the blood and urine”, but warning that it “must be improved when used as proof of doping in order to avoid the risk of punishing an innocent athlete.”
Stricter regulations on teams and their responsibility for positive tests from their riders will also be discussed, echoing last week’s proposal from the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC). The AIGCP, CPA and AIMeC wish to introduce sanctions and measures against teams whose riders are sanctioned and disqualified for doping infraction, with the proviso that “conclusive data reveals the direct responsibility of the team.”
Their final proposal places the spotlight on Continental Teams and requests that “as soon as possible, as in all other professional sports, only athletes and teams that meet the same standards and have the same duties with regard to the bodies and the control institutions (see Continental Teams) are allowed to show up at the race start line.”