Big names gather for group's first meeting in London
More big names are joining Change Cycling Now, a newly-formed group dedicated to cleansing the sport and restoring its image. Three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond and Garmin-Sharp principal Jonathan Vaughters are the biggest new names to have joined the group and both are set to appear at its first conference in London this weekend.
“The report from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) into the Lance Armstrong affair has to be a watershed moment for professional cycling,” LeMond said in the group's press release. “There is still an opportunity to ensure cycling presents itself as a genuine world leader in the elimination of doping and drug taking in sport. But to do that requires a determination to force change and I am delighted to be part of a group that is full of people who are committed to the cause.”
Other new members include former riders Eric Boyer and Jörg Jaksche. Boyer is a former Tour stage winner and forme team manager of Cofidis. Jaksche confessed in 2007 to his doping and has become a vocal member of the anti-doping movement.
Change Cycling Now proclaimed its intent “is holding the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) to account for alleged mis-handling the sport's global image in the wake of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal and LeMond and his new colleagues will discuss proposals that offer a route towards repairing the sport’s globally damaged reputation.”
In addition, former Armstrong masseuse and key witness in the USADA investigation, Emma O'Reilly, will appear at the group's press conference next Monday in London. Former World champion Gianni Bugno will also address the group in his role as president of the Association of Professional Cyclists.
Group founder Jaimie Fuller was especially pleased with LeMond's presence. “As a Tour de France winner, Greg LeMond’s involvement should send the clearest message yet that we are a serious group with serious intentions and genuine motives.”
Vaughters, who has confessed to drug use during his career, has been outspoken on anti-doping. This has not gone unnoticed by others in cycling, including Johan Bruyneel, who led Armstrong to the seven Tour de France victories which have now been taken away from him. Bruyneel now faces hearings before the USADA on related doping charges.
Bruyneel taunted Vaughters about the plans of the Change Cycling Now group, tweeting, “A bunch of douches r gonna meet in London 2 change cycling. But why is @vaughters not on the list? He should be leading that group..”
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