Dutch cycling announces strict new anti-doping policy

The Dutch Cycling Federation and two of the Dutch UCI WorldTour teams have adopted a strict new anti-doping policy, which includes refusing to hire any rider or staff member who has served more than a six-month doping ban. The Federation, the Dutch Doping Authority and representatives from Blanco Pro Cycling and Vacansoleil-DCM announced the new plans at a press conference. The Argos-Shimano team did not attend, saying the  plan focused too much on the past, but will be part of the initiative.

The group, together with the Dutch Doping Authority, announced “a joint approach, which confidence in professional cycling and its credibility again back can win with fans, sponsors, stakeholders and general public.”

“Openness and honesty is necessary for a change of culture,” the group said in a press release. “Part of the joint approach to arrive at a credible and fair sport is that  active riders, coaches and team management (i.e. all employees of the teams and federation) now in the professional sport are asked  to be open and honest explicitly about the past.”

Specifically, riders ( and staff) who were banned for longer than 6 months for “a violation of the doping regulations” will not be employed in the future. In addition, all standard contracts will contain a provision stating that “the use of doping substances or methods and other violations of anti-doping rules (such as trading, manipulation and administration of these agents or methods) is punishable by dismissal.”

All riders and staff members must truthfully complete and sign a “Declaration of Behavior”. Once submitted, the declaration cannot be changed, and if it is discovered that the declaration was not truthful, the person will be dismissed.

Any doping violations which occurred after January 1, 2008, will lead to immediate dismissal. Earlier violations will incur a less severe penalty. “Job retention is possible, with a suspension for a period of six months and a deduction of salary for 3 months.”

Those willing to make a full disclosure about doping violation in the past will receive a light sentence.

Argos-Shimano want to focus on the future

Argos-Shimano, this year part of the WorldTour, will participate in the agreement but did not attend the press conference.

“We would like to focus more on the future.  How can we avoid what happened in the past?” team manager Iwan Spekenbrink told the ANP news agency. “We want to make a difference for this and the next generation of riders, guys like Tom Veelers, Albert Timmer and Tom Stamsnijder."

Dutch Federation chairman Marcel Winters confirmed that the team will comply. “The team is  one  hundred percent behind our plans,” he said.

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