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ASO President doesn't want Riis at Tour

By:
Jean-François Quénet in Lienz
Published:
May 30, 2007, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:02 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News for May 30, 2007
ASO President Patrice Clerc

ASO President Patrice Clerc

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Patrice Clerc, President of Tour de France organiser Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), has said he...

Patrice Clerc, President of Tour de France organiser Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), has said he would find it "shocking" to have Team CSC boss Bjarne Riis at this year's event following the Dane's confession of using EPO to win the Tour title in 1996. "The way things are now, I have no interest to work together with these people," he told French newspaper L'Equipe.

Regarding the legitimacy of Riis' victory 11 years ago, which cannot be officially stripped due to the World Anti Doping Agency's eight-year statute on doping offences, Clerc noted, "We can't rewrite history, but for me there will be no winner that year."

Riis has offered to return his yellow jersey, a gesture supported by UCI President Pat McQuaid. "I believe it was mentioned at the press conference that if ASO came to him looking for the jersey, he would give it back to them," said McQuaid. "I think that ethically he should consider this and offer his jersey back."

Asked whether Riis should be forced to give up his position at Team CSC and leave professional cycling entirely, Clerc insisted Riis' explanation should go beyond his personal involvement. "He must explain everything about his team, his riders, their results and the relation to Dr. Cecchini," said the Frenchman. "He must show the secret of his success, otherwise no one will believe him."

Clerc also called on the team's sponsor, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), to act, asking, "Why should it always be the riders who pay the price?"

Despite the flood of confessions from active and former riders in recent weeks, the ASO President said: "It doesn't interest me to dig up affairs from the past, unless it helps to understand things."

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