By Paul Verkuylen
Riders wishing to take part in September's World Championships, which will be hosted by the German city of Stuttgart, will be required to sign the UCI's anti doping charter to be eligible to compete. The event has followed the Tour de France organiser's lead by forcing all participants to sign the charter.
The decision was made after a meeting between the UCI and German secretary of the interior Wolfgang Schäuble. The German minister has publically lodged his concern over the sport's doping scandals, and the consequences that they may have on the World Championships. The German government is believed to have even considered canceling the event altogether at one point. "The world championships in Stuttgart were found to be in a critical situation," said Schäuble. "It has not been excluded by the organizers [until they] come together again to discuss the event. Perhaps they will come to the conclusion that it is necessary to cancel the event."
Schäuble went on to explain that Eric Zabel's admission to taking EPO came as a big blow, and may be the cause of his sudden apprehension. "Erik Zabel is in Germany always worshipped as a hero, but that he is allowed to ride this years Tour the France, I don't understand," he said. "I always looked with interest towards the Tour, but I no longer have an interest in it. I don't believe in it anymore. I am against lifelong suspensions, but the cycling world must take measures to improve its image."