The Orica-GreenEdge team has announced it has ended its membership of the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC), after what it describes as “an evaluation of current initiatives and efforts made for a healthy sport".
In a brief statement, Orica-GreenEdge team manager Shane Bannan said the team preferred to now work with the “official organisations in collaboration with all the other teams and stakeholders of cycling".
The MPCC issued an initial response via Twitter, saying it has taken note of the Australian WorldTour team's decision and that it will convene for its next board meeting on March 3.
“We would like to thank all the current and former members of the MPCC for the discussions and initiatives and for sincerely helping the sport move further in the right direction,” Bannan said in the statement.
“We fully support the initiatives that have now become an integrated part of the rules of the sport. Going onwards, we will be a strong supporter of seeing these and other initiatives being further developed by the official organisations in collaboration with all the other teams and stakeholders of cycling."
MPCC rules and disputes
In the past year several WorldTour and Professional Continental teams have left the MPCC after problems with the interpretation of the voluntary association’s strict but not always clear rules that were created to fight and deter doping and medicinal abuse in the professional peloton.
Last summer the LottoNL-Jumbo team left the MPCC after a dispute about the accuracy of the MPCC’s voluntary cortisol tests. The announcement came after LottoNL-Jumbo’s George Bennett was prevented from starting the Giro d’Italia after pre-race tests discovered low cortisol levels. It was the second time one of the team’s riders had missed out on a Grand Tour in such circumstances, with Theo Bos having been withheld from the Vuelta a España in 2013.
The Astana team ignored the MPCC's cortisol rules ahead of the 2014 Tour de France in allowing Lars Boom to race and the team was later expelled from the organisation. The Bardiani-CSF team did the same thing at the 2015 Giro d’Italia and also left the MPCC. The MPCC has since agreed that teams can replace riders who are found to have a low cortisol level before a race.
The MPCC was created by a number of teams and former directeur sportif Roger Legeay and has since attracted a number of teams, national federations and even sponsors as members.
The MPCC claims its mission is to “defend the idea of a clean cycling based on notions of transparency, responsibility and mobilisation of its members”. When it was created in 2007, it created a series of rules that were far stricter than the UCI rules at the time, including an eight-day no-race period for riders needing corticosteroid injections and self-suspensions in the case of multiple anti-doping cases in a team.
The UCI has since improved and strengthened its anti-doping rules and created its own team auto-suspension rule, reducing the influence of the MPCC.
Orica-GreenEdge’s decision means that only nine of the 18 WorldTour teams are now members of the MPCC. The remaining teams are AG2R-La Mondiale, Cannondale, Dimension Data, FDJ, Giant-Alpecin, IAM Cycling, Katusha and Lotto Soudal.