Discovery Channel pulls out of AIGCP

Discovery Channel announced that it is removing itself from the International Association of Professional Cycling teams (AIGCP), a decision based on the meeting amongst 19 of the group's ProTour members last week in France.

"The AIGCP was designed to represent the collective interests of the sports top teams, however, the group has struggled to unify and agree on their objectives," read a press release from the team.

Sport Director Johan Bruyneel added, "I no longer feel confident that this group can lead our sport and represent our Team in a positive manner. It became clear at our most recent meeting that the goals and objectives among the teams are very different and I do not want to continue to be a part of such contentious and unprofessional meeting.

"We need to become a unified group for our sport to reach a higher level but everyone is not willing to do that and AIGCP President Patrick Lefevere is not to blame. He has shown great leadership and insight while presiding over this group, however, the same cannot be said of all members."

Last winter the team came under fire from the International Professional Cycling Teams (IPCT) for hiring Ivan Basso. The members voted to remove the team from its group. In December, it stated, "Discovery Channel didn't respect the rules," a participant of the meeting said. "The ethical code is clear: a ProTour team should not sign a rider involved in the Puerto affair." membership was threatened to be removed.

During last weeks AIGCP meeting, representatives voted unanimously that any of the teams who have not respected the Code of Ethics would not be allowed to race in the Tour de France.

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