The newly appointed president of the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), Jean-Etienne Amaury, said Friday that he will not back down on his group's strict position against doping. Amaury, 32, is the son of Philippe Amaury - the founder of the eponymous media group which is the parent company of the ASO. He took over the presidency after Patrice Clerc was removed from that role this week.
Jean-Etienne Amaury told AFP that he was well aware of how doping had harmed the credibility of cycling, and promised that the dismissal of Clerc would have no impact on the fight against doping.
"This is due to a disagreement of people, not strategy," said Amaury. "We continue to have a very strict position against doping. These are ethical values that are fundamental in the culture of the group. Nothing has changed on that side. Our position is the same."
Amaury called into question the absence of specific language about doping in the agreement between the Editions Philippe Amaury (EPA) and the International Cycling Union (UCI) last week, which ended the four-year long conflict between the sport's governing body and the owner of it's biggest race
"There is nothing specific about doping in this agreement," said Jean-Etienne Amaury. "We can not legislate as an organizer but we work as we did in the past with the responsible parties."
Amaury said the agreement will help to rebuild cycling in the years to come, and that his organisation would lead the way in the fight against doping.
However, he would not repeat his predecessor's decision to have the anti-doping controls run outside the aegis of the UCI. This year's Tour was not held under UCI rules, and as a result relied on the French Anti-doping Agency (AFLD) for the testing.
The anti-doping controls for next year's Tour will be "the responsibility of the UCI since one of the points of agreement is that we go back under the aegis of the international federation," but said that he would seek cooperation between the UCI and the AFLD.
Amaury said that the organisation of the ASO's management is still being studied, but was optimistic that it had "potential for significant development". He hinted that the group's plans for globalisation meshed with the UCI's plan to spread the top level of cycling across the globe. "ASO has an expertise in organizing events that it could export."
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