Quickstep manager Patrick Lefevere won't be the first team manager to sign the UCI antidoping charter, the agreement which UCI president Pat McQuaid asked all ProTour team managers and staff this week. The agreement, which would force signers to forfeit a year's salary if they break the anti-doping pledge, has given Lefevere, who also acts as president of the International Association of Professional Cycling Teams (AIGCP), some pause, and he said he must discuss the document with his lawyer before signing. "I don't do anything without a lawyer," Lefevere told the Associated Press on Wednesday. "I give it to my lawyer and if he says it's OK, it's OK. If he says we have to make some changes, (then) I give it to the lawyer of the AIGCP."
Lefevere's Quickstep riders were among the last to sign the agreement just prior to the start of the Tour de France, but the managers and team staff have until August 1 to sign the document. "I'm not in a hurry. It's the first of August, no?" Lefevere said. "I want to do the Tour de France. It finishes on the 29th (of July), and then we will see."
After the sport spent more than a year simmering over the Operación Puerto doping scandal which felled 2006 Giro winner Ivan Basso and German Jan Ullrich among others, the UCI is stepping up its efforts to repair the broken reputation of the sport. McQuaid asked the riders to sign the antidoping agreement and now he wants the same level of commitment from the staff. "Each manager has to ask themselves what kind of sport do they want to be involved in," McQuaid told the AP.