Roy: There are good guys in cycling

Calls for UCI to hand over responsibility for dope controls and for WADA to act on “liberalised" corticoid use

FDJ’s Jérémy Roy has become the latest pro to offer his opinions on the ongoing debate about doping within the sport in the wake of the revelations about Lance Armstrong and the US Postal team. In an open letter on his website, the Frenchman thanked all those who have admitted doping in the past for their confessions, called for the UCI to hand over control of the testing process and for the World Anti-Doping Agency to act on the liberalised use of corticoids.

Having started off by admitting that “cycling is not currently in the best of worlds”, Roy affirmed that not all cyclists should be tarred with the same brush as those who have cheated. There are, he insisted, plenty of good guys out there who are well worthy of support. He said that, in common with almost everyone else, he had been shocked by the contents of the USADA dossier on Lance Armstrong and the US Postal, particularly by the systematic extent of the doping within that team.

“Thankfully not all teams work in that way,” he said, insisting that he, like many others, had not simply turned a blind eye to what was going on nor were they bound by the terms of some unwritten omerta. “Even if I do speak to other riders from time to time, do you think that those who are cheating are going to open up to me about their chemical prowess?

"The latest confessions have shown that not even their wives and families knew what was going on. It is too easy for them to ask for forgiveness now in order to cleanse their conscience, but I don’t excuse them for what they have done. They have stolen results, glory, money, contracts… But on the other hand I will nevertheless say thank you to them for having confessed if that contributes to stemming this terrible scourge by taking responsibility for what they have done and trying to find a solution.”

Roy said he supported UCI’s implementation of the ADAMS (whereabouts) system and the use of the biological passport. However, he added that the UCI needed to create a fully independent commission to oversee the implementation of doping controls, describing this as “a necessity if the UCI wants to regain its credibility. Only then would criticism of it being both the judge and lawmaker conclude.”

He also called for WADA to retrace its steps with the regard to the “liberalised use of corticoids. A suspension should be obligatory in cases where these products are seen to have been used in order to prevent any damage to the health of the rider.”

Roy also backed Taylor Phinney’s zero tolerance stance on caffeine pills and painkillers. “Some riders to take painkillers when they are racing. But if you’ve got a problem that needs to be treated with a painkiller I doubt that taking part in a bike race is going to help out!”

The Frenchman concluded his open letter saying that, in spite of the turmoil that has regularly engulfed the sport he loves since he turned pro at the end of 2003, he still feels immense passion for it. “I know of course that I will never win the Tour de France or the World Championship with my capacity, but I always continue to hope, to hope that I can progress, that I can give the best of myself and that I won’t have any regrets because I will have given all I have on the way. I have made so many sacrifices – and my family has as well as I spend up to 180 days a year away from them – that I can’t give up now. That would be another defeat that the cheats were responsible for.”

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