Australian compression garment manufacturer SKINS will sponsor the 'New Pathways for Pro Cycling' conference, to be held ahead of the UCI Road World Championships on September 27 and 28 at Deakin University, Australia.
The primary objective of the conference is to bring together cyclists, administrators, academics, scientists, fans and others interested in the future direction of professional cycling to discuss the problems the sport faces in relation to doping as it undergoes changes in the process of its globalisation.
The company, which is a headline sponsor of the Australian Institute of Sport's Jayco-Skins development team in addition to being a technical partner for several ProTour teams and BikeNZ, believes the findings of researchers in the project are in line with the values the team and its sponsor upholds.
"The conference aligns with SKINS' ethos of 'fuelling the true spirit of competition'," said SKINS International CEO, Jaimie Fuller. "SKINS salutes all those who leave their sport better than when they started and respects those who handle themselves with honesty, integrity and class at all times."
In recent days the conference has come under fire from Australian cycling institutions, including the organisers of this year's UCI Road World Championships and Cycling Australia, as a result of Floyd Landis' announcement that he would appear at the gathering; the American's allegations earlier this year have instituted a federal investigation into alleged doping practices by prominent riders in the US.
Whilst the Worlds organsing committee has withdrawan its support for the conference, citing Landis' apparent agenda as grounds for its decision, SKINS Sports Director for Cycling Benjamin Fitzmaurice is unerring in voicing his company's support for the event.
"There can be no tolerance for doping or attempts to dope in sport," he said. "A big part of the process to eliminate such behaviour [doping] is to create an environment for open discussion and transparency, along with good education for all developing cyclists.
"The New Pathways Conference is a step in the right direction and every interested party should be encouraged to participate."