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Lance Armstrong (US Postal) protected by his body guard at the 2004 Tour de France
Six teams granted provisional membership
The Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC) has announced via its twitter feed that a team of "legal experts" are considering mounting a legal case against Lance Armstrong deeming that the American "disfigured" the image of cycling as well as the Tour de France.
The group held a general assembly meeting in Paris on Thursday with new teams being admitted membership and six teams granted a period of provisional membership.
President of MPCC, Roger Legeay said that it was time for the sport's stakeholders to take action against Armstrong, who last month confessed to doping following years of denials and attacks on those who publicly raised suspicions regarding the former seven-time Tour de France winner.
"Following the confession of Lance Armstrong, I have instructed our legal services explore the possibility of engaging with all stakeholders an action for damages for breach of cycling's image, for fraud or any other proceedings that can be raised," said Legeay.
He also indicated that Armstrong may not be the only target of litigation, including their own members.
"There is no denying that MPCC teams have doped," he said. "They must pay."
Legeay said that it was not solely the responsibility of teams within the MPCC to take action.
"Hopefully the makers of cycling go in this direction, it seems difficult to overlook, start over with a clean slate while huge sums were at stake," he said.
Internal regulations of the MPCC allow for: "Any person punishable by a sports authority or court for acts constituting a violation of the image of cycling and its partners (doping, use and / or trafficking of prohibited products, ...) may be sued in the courts by 'MPCC' to obtain damages."
Meantime, Androni Venezuela, Astana, Katusha, Blanco, Lampre Merida and Vacansoleil DCM were granted a provisional membership to the group which could remain in place until October, at Thursday's meeting. All of the teams above have been embroiled in doping allegations and stories in the past.
The 11 founding teams of the MPCC - Ag2r, Argos, FDJ, Garmin Sharp , Lotto Belisol, Bretagne - Seche Environnement, Cofidis, Europcar, IAM Cycling, Netapp - Endura and Sojasun - took part in the secret ballot.
Founded in 2007, the MPCC imposes stricter anti-doping measures on its members that go beyond the World Anti-Doping Agency Code, including additional testing to combat the use of corticosteroids. Member teams also do not allow their riders to race while they await decisions regarding anti-doping procedures.