Michael Ashenden has quit the Change Cycling Now lobby group with immediate affect after learning that the group had approached Lance Armstrong through French physiologist and coach Antoine Vayer.
In an email to the members of the board obtained by Cyclingnews, the highly respected Australian anti-doping expert wrote: “I am writing to inform you that I am removing myself, effective immediately, from the CCN movement.”
"It is clear to me that there are irreconcilable differences in the approaches used by CCN and myself. Put simply: I will not be associated with any group that seeks to meet with Lance Armstrong, with the obvious exception of USADA."
"If I had been informed of the intention to approach Armstrong I would have made my position clear immediately. Unfortunately, the approach to Armstrong was made without my knowledge, it cannot be undone, and nor can my decision to leave CCN.”
“I wish you all well and remind you that we are all still pushing in the same direction - we just don't agree on how to go about that.”
The Change Cycling Now group was formed in November 2012 with the goal of creating a platform and pressure group that will "help generate positive changes for the future of professional cycling."
Skins Chairman Jamie Fuller has been the driving force behind the group, with support coming from a range of influential figures including Ashenden, journalists Paul Kimmage and David Walsh, Garmin-Sharp team manager Jonathan Vaughters and former Tour de France winner Greg LeMond.
In December key figures of the group held a two-day meeting and issued their idea for a road map for the future of competitive cycling. This includes the creation of an independent Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), an investigation of the UCI and its management, and totally independent anti-doping controls.
At the London event, CCN called on Pat McQuaid to resign from his post as the president of the UCI, advocating that LeMond should stand as an interim president. McQuaid dismissed that idea, claiming everyone in the CCN group had joined for personal or business reasons.