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The Katusha team training on the time trial course
Ekimov pledges team's commitment to anti-doping measures
The Movement for a Credible Cycling (MPCC) announced today that the Russian Katusha squad has formally requested to join its membership.
Katusha, the team of 2012 number one-ranked rider Joaquim Rodriguez, is currently appealing the decision of the UCI to reject its application for the WorldTour to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The UCI's license commission failed to approve the renewal of Katusha's license, reportedly on grounds it did not meet ethical criteria.
The MPCC was founded in 2007 as a reaction to the multiple doping scandals of that year's Tour de France. The member teams pledge to adhere to stricter standards than those required by current sporting governance.
These rules include not hiring riders who have served doping suspensions longer than six months, excluding those due to whereabouts violations, and limiting the use of corticosteroids.
Late last year, the race organizers' association AIOCC decided it would give MPCC members priority in the allocation of wild card invitations to their events.
Should Katusha fail in its bid to overturn the UCI's decision on its WorldTour application, and accept a lesser, Pro Continental status, it would rely solely on wild card invitations for entry to the sport's major events.
New Katusha manager Viatcheslav Ekimov stated that the team is applying to the MPCC for membership to, "Demonstrate to our full commitment to the struggle of any anti-doping measures", "to give guidance to all further top Katusha team members concerning personal behavior and the general struggle of doping", and "to most meet the actual requirements as set by various tour operators and / or organizers".
Katusha joins Astana, Lampre-Merida, Blanco, Crelan-Euphony, Bardiani-CSF, La Pomme Marseille, Big Mat-Auber 93 and Novo Nordisk as applicants. Already members are AG2R La Mondiale, Argos-Shimano, Bretagne-Schuller, Cofidis, Europcar, FDJ, Garmin-Sharp, the Swiss IAM Cycling project, Lotto Belisol, NetApp and Saur Sojasun. The MPCC today provisionally accepted Vacansoleil-DCM into its ranks.
New members will be voted in on February 7, 2013.