The Canadian Cycling Association (CCA) launched a new anti-doping program called "Race Clean OWN YOUR VICTORY" earlier this week. The program is athlete-driven and complements the "Roulez Gagnants au Naturel" program that the Québéc cycling federation has been delivering in its province and through its provincial teams at national and invitational events.
The "Race Clean" part of the name directly recognises the importance of fair play, clean sport, and the obligation that racers have to compete within the rules. "It is our hope that all Canadian athletes respect the rules which include not using prohibited substances or practices," said the CCA in a press release.
The "OWN YOUR VICTORY" words are intended to promote a more personal and internal motivation for clean sport. "We hope that every athlete strives to achieve their own personal goals or victories no matter what they may be; from local club races all the way to the Olympics. We also hope that they have complete ownership of these victories and are able to feel the reward of their hard work and dedication," continued the release.
"We don't want the victories or accomplishments to ring hollow with ownership belonging to cheating or doping. No matter what the accomplishment we hope the athletes can look at their results with pride and never have to ask what they could have achieved themselves."
The CCA pointed to several cyclists as role models for clean sport, including Tara Whitten, Svein Tuft, Catharine Pendrel, Geoff Kabush, Zach Bell, Erinne Willock.
"It was a much more difficult situation when I started racing but I am very optimistic for the next generation of cyclists," said mountain biker Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain). "I made the decision very early in my career that everything I was going to achieve was going to happen naturally.
"It is so much more rewarding to be on top of a podium knowing that it was due to my hard work, dedication, and desire to continually learn and improve myself. I hope that the 'Race Clean, Own Your Victory' message helps inspire the current and next generation of cyclists to make the decision to pursue their goals with confidence."
"I'm really excited about this athlete driven Race Clean initiative. Canadian cyclists are making a statement. Look to see us proudly Owning Our Victories this summer!" said mountain biker Catharine Pendrel of the Luna Chix Pro Team.
"I choose to 'Race Clean' because I believe sport is the opportunity to challenge our bodies and perform at our full capacity through the aid of training, determination, discipline and passion," said Erinne Willock (Webcor Builders Women’s Professional Cycling Team).
Kelly Benefits - Medifast Pro Cycling Team's Zach Bell also commented on the program. "We have to believe that sport and competition can exist in an honest drug free environment. By making this statement as a group we can strengthen our resolve and know everything we do as a national team is not only honest but can be achieved drug free."
"If we can be successful drug free, young athletes will understand that ANY athlete can win drug free."
Edmonton graphic designer Kathryn Jamieson-Lega developed a logo for the program. At a recent camp in Tucson, Arizona, members of the Canadian National Road and Mountain Bike Teams were presented "Race Clean" socks and wristbands, with that logo, to wear in training and competition for this season.
The CCA will release other aspects of the program at the National Championships and other events hosted in Canada.