CPA group reacts to UCI's rider anti-doping declaration

The Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA) issued a statement Friday denouncing the UCI's...

The Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA) issued a statement Friday denouncing the UCI's approach to the new anti-doping declaration announced earlier this week as part of the UCI's ongoing effort to address doping problems in cycling.

"The CPA deplores the fact that the UCI did not expose the details of the 'riders commitment for a new cycling' during the meeting that took place on June 15 in Aigle," said the written statement. "It also regrets it was not informed about the choice of the riders who signed the document in the presence of the press. It considers that the UCI should have informed it, more in detail, about the step which it was going to take."

The organization acknowledged some riders saw the initiative as a positive way to show they are innocent, with nothing to hide. Some also see the agreement as a way to continue forward on level playing ground with fellow competitors. However, the CPA pointed out that other riders were frustrated by the lack of dialogue between the UCI and rider representatives prior to the announcement of the agreement.

"The CPA is conscious that it is time to stop beating about the bush and that it is necessary for the collective to definitively become aware of the fact that the profession is in danger and of the existing peril that, shortly, more and more sponsors could disappear," continued the statement. "As a consequence the contracts would be likely not to meet any longer the financial conditions compared with the hard job of professional cyclist."

Of the UCI's new agreement, which all participants of the Tour de France must sign before the July 7 start of the Grand Tour, the CPA's statement said, "It is obvious that this measure shows, once more, that a majority of clean riders continue to pay the consequences of some cheaters' irresponsible behaviours who must be excluded from the bunch. These cheaters have not understood yet that they are encircled by the zero allowance and that, sooner or later, they will irremediably be unmasked."

The CPA approved of the UCI's effort to focus the sport's clean-up not only on the riders, but also on staff and other professionals associated with the teams. "The CPA reminds that it expressed this wish on several occasion these last years to the UCI so that the riders are no longer the only ones to be punished," but the group asked also that the ethical code be extended still more to include organizers.

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