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UCI demands ProTour riders' signatures on anti-doping agreement for Tour participation

By Susan Westemeyer

The UCI has introduced a new anti-doping charter, it announced today in Geneva. Under it, all 600 ProTour riders must sign a statement before the Tour de France in which they agree to pay a year's salary if they are found to have used illegal doping products, in addition to the usual suspension they would face.

The announcement was made after the International Cycling Union (UCI) meeting, in Geneva, with the ProTour team managers and team doctors. UCI President Pat McQuaid said that any rider who refused to sign would not be allowed to ride in the three-week French race.

T-Mobile's Mark Cavendish and Française Des Jeux's Sandy Casar were on hand at the meeting to be the first to sign their statements. "It's cool to be clean," said the British rider on

"I swear to my team, my colleagues, the UCI, the cycling world and the public that I have not cheated, have not been involved in the Fuentes case or in any other doping case," read the statement that must be signed. "I declare myself ready to give a DNA sample to the Spanish judicial system so that it can be compared to the blood bags taken in the Operación Puerto."

"With this new anti-doping charter, we want to further intensify the fight against doping," McQuaid commented. "The UCI cannot accept that an individual or organization damages our sport."

While the riders are not legally obligated to sign, the UCI will publish a list on its website of those riders who do or do not sign. Riders who sign and are then found guilty on doping charges will face a minimum two-year suspension. They would also be required to pay one years' salary as a fine, with the money being used to fight doping.

More news to follow.

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