German Markus Fothen of Team Gerolsteiner blasted two-time World Champion Paolo Bettini last night on the German television station ARD for failing to sign the UCI's 'Riders' commitment for a new cycling.
Fothen agreed with the UCI's strategy of increasing the number of doping controls. "The more controls there are, the better," said Fothen. "The harder the anti-doping test, the better. And I will voluntary sign almost any document that is subject to vouch for my honour. ... However, I ask if any of this has sense when in Stuttgart [World Championships] the only one that did not sign becomes World Champion.
"An incomprehensible decision," he said of Bettini's refusal to sign the agreement. "Now it is him that lives together with the suspects."
Italian National Directeur Sportif Franco Ballerini responded to Fothen's comments by saying the 26 year-old German ignored the fact that the Italian of Quick.Step only refused to give up his salary in the case of a positive anti-doping control. "Evidently he did not pay attention because Bettini has signed all three fundamental points of the UCI document," Ballerini said to Agr. "If Fothen had read Bettini's declaration well he would not have made this error in judgement."