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World Champ Bettini signed DNA agreement

Defending Champ Paolo Bettini Photo: © Roberto Bettini

Defending Champ Paolo Bettini Photo: © Roberto Bettini

By Gregor Brown in Stuttgart

Riders taking part in the World Championships are being required to sign an agreement similar to the one that was proposed prior to the Tour de France. 2006 Road World Champion Paolo Bettini came under fire from International Cycling Union (UCI) President Pat McQuaid yesterday for refusing to sign the pre-Worlds agreement.

Quick.Step - Innergetic Press Officer Alessandro Tegner explained to Cyclingnews that the Italian, who did not take part in the Tour, had signed a DNA agreement document on July fifth. "He agreed with all the ethical parts of the UCI charter; he agreed with the DNA testing," said Tegner this morning. The issue was in regards to the legal aspects of the UCI's charter, such as asking for a rider's salary if he was found positive. Bettini believed that many factors could play into a rider's positive result, and that the rider should not be automatically be stripped of his wages. (For information on the pre-Tour UCI charter read UCI demands ProTour riders' signatures on anti-doping agreement for Tour participation.)

In the mailed document "he agreed with DNA testing to be used in Operación Puerto and in future investigations." Bettini received an email that the document was refused on July 13 from UCI ProTour Manager Alan Rumpf.

"With an e-mail they told me that my document was a vision of a legal studio and, for formal reasons, or one reason or another, it was refused," said Bettini to La Gazzetta dello Sport. The UCI document "is a legal document, not a voluntary paper, so I did well to make use of a representative. The UCI had hoped for another big event to create trouble. It is always like this."

Bettini did not take part in the Tour de France but he did line up for the Deutschland Tour, a ProTour event. At first the organizers did not allow him to start according to Tegner, however when Bettini presented his legal document that was mailed to the UCI it allowed him to race. This was also the case for the ProTour's Hamburg Cyclassics.

McQuaid clarified to Cyclingnews this morning that two different documents were signed. "He had signed two different pledges, one was a completely different document [to the riders' agreement of June] and the second one was an altered version of that document," said McQuaid to Shane Stokes. "We have been in communication with him about both of them, and the last communication about that was when Alan [Rumpf] sent him an e-mail on July 13. He never responded to that."

McQuaid indicated that the UCI requires Bettini to sign a proper version of the document.

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