The Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC) is gathering speed in the wake of the Lance Armstrong doping case. Last week, first division team Lotto-Belisol joined the French movement that maintains stronger anti-doping rules.
The movement's president, Roger Legeay told Cycling Weekly: "All the people who want a better cycling can come with us and accept the philosophy. They can say, 'We respect all the rules, and we are taking it a step further by joining the MPCC.' It's important for the teams and the team managers to act."
Legeay began the organisation in 2007, one year after the Operación Puerto scandal erupted. It has maintained mostly a French flavour, but the Armstrong case is raising its importance. At the Tour de France launch last month, race director Christian Prudhomme encouraged teams to adhere to its stricter rules and called it "the future."
According to the AFP news agency, Prudhomme said, "We agree totally with what the MPCC does. The rules they enforce are stronger than those of the UCI, but also of the World Anti-Doping Agency."
The MPCC's standards of conduct
- Prohibit a rider from racing after the positive result of the first analysis or A sample.
- Don't sign a rider who has had a ban of more than six months during the two years following his ban. An exception is given to whereabouts cases.
- If a rider needs corticosteroids (used for saddle sores and swelling) then pull him from competition for eight days.
- An internal control following a positive test within the team.
- If a team has more than one positive case from the past 12 months, withdraw it and assess the situation.
(See more: Movement for Credible Cycling homepage)
The MPCC counts four first division teams that adhere to its rules: Ag2r La Mondiale, FDJ, Garmin-Sharp and, joining last week, Belgium's long-running Lotto-Belisol. Its other members include Argos-Shimano, Bretagne-Schuller, Cofidis, Europcar, IAM Cycling, NetApp and Saur-Sojasun.
"We hope we have a lot of teams [joining], like Sky, GreenEdge and the big teams because it's necessary the teams are doing what they can," Legeay added. "The MPCC's philosophy is that the team managers have the power to stop this now, they have the choice as the team managers to select their riders and their doctors, the good doctors, the good staff and the good riders - they have the power."
"It is indeed a signal we want to give, a sort of statement, Lotto's sports manager, Marc Sergeant said in a press release. "In the past there was only a minority that openly wanted to go along in the new way of thinking; I think we should strive for a majority... I think the time for words should be over, and that they should be transformed into actions."
Buoyed by Prudhomme and a changing tide, the MPCC is pushing for more changes for 2013.
Last week, the Legeay fired off several letters. It asked the Association of Race Organisers (AIOCC) only to invite teams, MPCC members or not, that adhere to its standards of conduct. It asked the European Cycling Union (UEC) to create a rule to would ban riders, who served suspensions for more than six months, from participating in the national teams for two years.
It also wants the UEC to regulate corticosteroid use more rigidly. In a letter to WADA, it requested tougher, four-year bans for athletes caught using EPO or blood transfusions. It also asked for a rule completely prohibiting national teams from selecting athletes who served a ban over six months.
"They all have the letter and our proposal, the WADA, the federation and the organisers; the movement is there for all the people in the cycling world to do and say something," said Legeay. "This winter, it's important for all the people in cycling to say, 'OK, from January 1, 2013, it's going to be different.'"
Pat McQuaid appeals to riders to help clean up cycling
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