Roger Legeay, the president of the Mouvement pour un Cyclisme Crédible, has told Cyclingnews that the Astana team has not broken any of the MPCC internal rules by signing Franco Pellizotti for the 2014 season.
The Astana team recently became a full member of the MPCC and accepted that under MPCC rules the Italian rider cannot race until May 2 –until two years after his ban for a UCI biological passport violation. However Pellizotti has signed his contract with Astana for 2014 after riding with Androni Giocattoli this season. He intends to train in Astana kit from January 1 and will attend Astana training camps before May 2.
This appears to go against the MPCC rules but Legeay insists the spirit of the law has been respected because Pellizotti will not race for Astana until May 2.
“Our rules have been respected,” he told Cyclingnews via email.
“Article 3 refers to the immediate withdrawal from competition and Article 4 has the same requirement. The decision concerning Franco Pellizotti was validated by our last Board of Directors meeting.”
“The idea of our rules, based on a voluntary basis, is that in all cases, a rider’s job is to race and so is stopped from competing:
- From the moment of knowing of the positive control
- During the (disciplinary) procedure
- For the period following a disciplinary sanction."
Legeay added that the MPCC is not involved in the drawing up riders’ contracts.
Confusion about Pellizotti’s position and if any rider can join a team but not race while awaiting the end of the MPCC’s extra two-year period is caused by the poor wording of the MPCC’s internal rules.
The French version says that team will not ‘engager’ –‘hire’- riders who have been found guilty of violating anti-doping rules, and that have been sanction with a ban of longer than six months, for two years after their suspension.
The English version of the internal rules translates ‘engager’ as ‘enter’ but the whole translation appears to have been done automatically, with the word ‘coureur’ translated as ‘runner’ instead of rider.
Legeay has told Cyclingnews that the MPCC will now check its translations.