UCI omits signatures on commitment

By Susan Westemeyer

Last summer the UCI introduced the "Commitment to a new cycling," which ProTour riders were to sign if they wanted to ride the Tour de France or World Championships. But a look Friday morning at the list on the UCI's web site showed that 28 riders' names were missing, which could be an oversight on the part of the UCI's web administrators, or a sign that the steam had gone out of the peloton's commitment to a clean sport.

Luckily, the mistake is on the part of the UCI, but the oversight has not escaped the Dutch press, who reported on the absence of names on Friday. According to the UCI, the only rider who has yet to sign on to the full commitment is World Champion Paolo Bettini, who made his objections to the document public before the World Championships last September. Bettini agreed with the ethics portions and to making his DNA available for testing, but strongly opposed being stripped of his wages should he test positive.

"Regarding Bettini it is true that he didn't sign, but I have to remind you that the commitment wasn't an obligation, but only a personal choice," UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani told Cyclingnews. "So, no sanction could be taken if a rider doesn't wish to accept it.

Some teams were more likely to have their riders names left off the list, with CSC leading absentees with an astonishing 11 names missing, including Stuart O'Grady and Jens Voigt, who drew notice from telesport.nl. The team told Cyclingnews that all riders had signed the Commitment, and specifically that O'Grady and Voigt had signed before the Tour 2007.

UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani confirmed the signings and told Cyclingnews that the missing names would appear "shortly" on the list.

Liquigas told Cyclingnews that it had communicated with the UCI concerning its "missing" riders Maceij Bodnar, Alberto Curtolo and Ivan Santoromita.

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