By Tim Maloney, European editor in Strasbourg
Cyclingnews spoke to Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme on Thursday morning in Strasbourg, and asked him about his reaction to the communiqué issued by the UCI yesterday, in which UCI president Pat McQuaid "strongly recommended" the ProTour teams to ask their riders to sign a written statement certifying that they are not involved in the latest Spanish doping case. Upon refusal, they would be replaced by another rider; and if they lied, immediately removed from the team and asked for a substantial indemnity.
"I have nothing to say about that," Prudhomme replied. "We are waiting for the decision made by the Court of Arbitration for Sports on the Astana-Würth team, as well as for further developments." Spanish investigators is expected to hand over a detailed report on the doping case to Spanish Sports minister today, who will meet his French counterpart on Friday.
The general consensus of many observers in the Tour de France press room in Strasbourg is that the UCI is not showing great leadership in the current situation, and that it is more interested in protecting the ProTour system than getting active in the biggest doping scandal that has shattered the sport since the Festina affair in 1998.