The Professional Cyclists' Association (CPA) has explained that a clause demanding payment of salary should a rider test positive for performance-enhancing substances is not permissible according to UCI regulations.
The declaration follows news that Team Katusha riders were told to sign a clause in their contracts stipulating that should they test positive for doping products a financial penalty of up to five times their annual salary may result.
Robbie McEwen stated last week that a third doping case would spell the end for the Russian team, given that star riders Christian Pfannberger and Toni Colom both tested positive for EPO after controls taken during the Spring Classics.
While McEwen expressed misgivings over the introduction of the stipulations, he signed the charter. Overnight however, Belgian rider Gert Steegmans has stated he won't sign the charter, a move which jeopardises his chances of competing in the Tour de France next month. Steegmans has expressed concerns over the situation, labelling it as 'complex'.
In a statement released on Monday, the stance of the CPA concurred with that of Steegmans, explaining, "the CPA reminds all the riders who belong to a ProTour or Continental Professional Team that the UCI Regulation which includes the Joint Agreement does not allow to add a clause which impinges on the riders' rights."