The number of teams asking to join the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC) association continues to grow with Lampre-Merida, Rabobank, Team Type 1 Sanofi, Crelan-Euphony and several Continental teams all submitting requests in recent days.
On Friday the international race organisers’ association (AIOCC) agreed to give priority to teams which are members of the MPCC when distributing wildcard invitations to events.
Under MPCC rules, the current 14 members vote whether to accept or refuse applicants. Current members include AG2R La Mondiale, Argos-Shimano, Bretagne-Schuller, Cofidis, Europcar, FDJ and Garmin-Sharp.
Several major teams, including Astana, Bardiani-CSF and La Pomme Marseille have applied for membership in recent weeks. New members will be voted on at the next general meeting of the MPCC on February 7, 2013.
The Lampre team recently announced a series of management changes after its riders and staff were implicated in several doping investigation. A preliminary judge will decide if 31 staff and riders should go on trial in Mantova for their links to the pharmacist and coach Guido Nigrelli. Team leader Michele Scarponi has been suspended by the team while awaiting a verdict for working with Dr. Michele Ferrari.
"We’re all at a point of no return. If cycling has not yet become aware of it, it’s necessary to work together trying to push it towards the most suitable direction for obtaining reliability by the mean of clearness," Lampre team manager Giuseppe Saronni is reported as saying on the MPCC website.
"He who had been involved in doping affairs concerning third parties and, despite himself and unwittingly, personally suffered them, can for sure help the MPCC in different ways."
Rabobank announced it would end its sponsorship of its cycling teams after the the USADA investigation evidence concerning Lance Armstrong and the US Postal Service Team was published in October. The Dutch bank has promised to fund the team in 2013 but the team will compete as a 'white label' team unless a new main sponsor can be found.
"We believe we have to stick together with other teams to get leverage and help the world of cycling to be more credible; for young talents, the riders, the organisers and of course the fans, Richard Plugge said in Rabobank's request to join the MPCC.
"We are confident the MPCC together with the members will enforce their own rules at any time with any member team. We think the MPCC, in addition to other governing bodies in cycling, can help cycling to move forward and give the sport a bright future."
Continental teams Oster Hus-Ridler from Norway and the new Verandas Willems from Belgium have also applied to join the MPCC.