The recent doping cases involving Astana have highlighted the complicated relationship between the UCI and Mouvement pour un Cyclisme Crédible (MPCC). Astana could face a 100,000 CHF fine from the UCI for missing the Tour of Beijing after Maxim Iglinskiy tested positive for EPO, the team's second positive test in less than 12 months.
Under MPCC guidelines, in such cases a team must suspend itself for eight days from the beginning of the next race it has entered. This resulted in Astana missing the Tour of Beijing, which they were obliged to attend as a UCI WorldTour event. It is not the first time that the regulations of the two organisations have caused problems and with 11 WorldTour teams currently part of the MPCC, it probably won’t be the last. When speaking to Cyclingnews, UCI president Brian Cookson said that he would like to work more closely with the MPCC, but working outside the regulations of the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) could hurt them.
“We want to work closely with the MPCC and they do a lot of things that are good for the sport, but at the end of the day we need to make sure that it is the UCI’s rules that govern the sport and the MPCC rules are recommendations,” he told Cyclingnews.
“If we step outside the WADA code on anything to do with doping, that would be the time that we would be challenged by lawyers and we would probably lose. We as a governing body signed up to the WADA code and we need to use the strength of the WADA code and the strength of our relationship with WADA to reinforce our stance on doping at all points.”
Cookson also spoke on the possible revocation Astana’s WorldTour licence in light of the positive tests. The UCI president has been vocal in his criticism of the Kazakh team, but was adamant that he would not intervene in the decision making process of the Licence Commission.
“I want to let the licence commission do their work, it’s not for me to interfere with that, they are entirely independent. They will make their recommendations back to us, which will cover the issue of the licence for Astana.”
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