Thomas Voeckler thinks that the spirit of the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC) has been undermined by certain teams.
Speaking in a video published on Monday by the MPCC itself, Voeckler, who rides for member team Direct Energie, gave a frank assessment of the current state of the organisation, which is run on a voluntary basis and aims to encourage a cleaner sport by imposing regulations above and beyond those of the UCI.
Chief among the 36-year-old's arguments is the notion that many teams signed up to the movement out of self-serving interests, such as enhancing their public image, rather than a desire to share the ethical values.
"The thing that bothers me most is the fact that few members signed up to the MPCC at the start," said Voeckler. "Then one day, the organisers of the biggest races in the world said that MPCC teams would be considered a priority for wildcards, and everyone joined.
"I think that devalues the spirit of the MPCC, because they joined almost out of obligation rather than their own willingness."
The MPCC was dealt repeated blows last year as multiple member teams abandoned the movement. Astana were forced to leave after they decided to start Lars Boom at the Tour de France despite low cortisol levels - grounds for an eight-day withdrawal from competition under MPCC rules - and it was the same for the Bardiani-CSF team at the Giro d'Italia.
LottoNL-Jumbo duly pulled George Bennett from the Giro but later left the MPCC, citing reservations over the accuracy of the cortisol tests. Lampre-Merida also left earlier in the year when they re-sgiend Diego Ulissi, despite the MPCC's rules on not signed riders who have served bans.
Voeckler raised the argument that teams can enjoy the benefits of membership until the rules actually apply to them, at which point they can just walk away without consequence.
"Another thing which troubles me is that there are teams who can just leave the MPCC without facing any consequences," he said.
Voeckler also gave his take on the current state of cycling's fight against doping. After 15 years in the professional peloton, the veteran said that cycling is not as "rotten" as it once was, but added that we can't be 100 per cent certain widespread doping isn't a possibility.
"The risk is the same as it was 20 years ago; we can’t be sure there isn’t a new equivalent to EPO, which could be undetectable, in the pipeline," he said. "Who can be sure? We cannot know."
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