Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A Change in Thought

Per the UCI, all Pro Tour riders are being "required" to sign the "Riders' commitment to a new cycling":

I do solemnly declare, to my team, my colleagues, the UCI, the cycling movement and the public that I am not involved in the Puerto affair nor in any other doping case and that I will not commit any infringement to the UCI anti-doping rules. As proof of my commitment, I accept, if it should happen that I violate the rules and am granted a standard sanction of a two-year suspension or more, in the Puerto affair or in any other anti-doping proceedings, to pay the UCI, in addition to the standard sanctions, an amount equal to my annual salary for 2007 as a contribution to the fight against doping.

At the same time, I declare to the Spanish Law, that my DNA is at its disposal, so that it can be compared with the blood samples seized in the Puerto affair. I appeal to the Spanish Law to organize this tests as soon as possible or allow the UCI to organize it.

Fine. I think a whole year's salary and what amounts to a 4 year suspension is steep, but so be it. Question though, where is the declaration for the team sponsors, managers, staff, doctors etc. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Cycling isn't going to clean up its act simply by having the riders sign a piece of paper. A fundamental change in thought and concept is what is needed. The current "nudge, nudge... wink, wink" business as usual MO has to go. While the riders have made the personal choice to dope or not to dope, that choice is/was not made in a vacuum. If there is going to be change, all involved in pro cycling have to declare their commitment.

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