'Difficult' to exclude new Puerto riders from the Tour de France
By Shane Stokes
"It is one thing having differences in the administration of the sport, but we also have differences in the fight against doping, then the sport will lose." So said Pat McQuaid on Sunday, talking about the recent meeting between himself, Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme and Patrick Lefevere, chairman of the Federation of Professional teams (AIGCP).
Representing the governing body, the Grand Tours and the professional teams, the three have a lot of influence and as a result of their agreement the anti-doping drive has moved a step forward. He told Cyclingnews that this unity is crucial. "If we want to win, we have to at least to stick together on the fight against doping. And that we are."
Differences of opinion relating to the ProTour were put on hold when McQuaid, Prudhomme and Lefevere met in Moudon, Switzerland, on Friday, May 4. It was a productive meeting. "Over the past three or four weeks there have been a lot of different messages coming out from stakeholders within the cycling family," said McQuaid, who explained the motive for the talks. "You have ASO saying one thing, you have the teams saying and doing another thing, then you have a different team directors making other statements about what should and shouldn't happen. It is not the correct way to go.
"The reason why I asked Patrick Lefevere and Christian Prudhomme to meet and to discuss the situation was because I felt there should be one message coming from the cycling family as regards the way forward in the fight against doping. We dealt with two areas - one is Operación Puerto and the other is the continuous and current fight against doping."
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