After Armstrong, doping hotline set up for cyclists

Agence France-Presse
The International Cycling Union (UCI) is setting up a doping hotline for cyclists who want to blow the whistle on fellow riders, one of their efforts to decrease cheating in the sport after Lance Armstrong's scandal

AFTER ARMSTRONG. After it was revealed that cycling champion Lance Armstrong was guilty of doping for years, the International Cycling Union has put new programs into place to ensure less doping in the sport. File photo by AFP.

LAUSANNE, France – A doping hotline is to be set up for cyclists who want to blow the whistle on fellow riders, the International Cycling Union (UCI) said Tuesday, November 13.

“During the coming weeks … the UCI will be looking into establishing a new open line – a confidential ‘hotline’,” said Pat McQuaid, head of the sport’s world governing body in an online statement on the UCI website.

Addressing riders directly, McQuaid said more needed to be done “to ensure that the UCI is as accessible as possible, and in particular to you the riders, should you wish to discuss issues or concerns relating to doping.”

It would take time to build trust in the telephone hotline, McQuaid said, adding that he was “confident that, with the best intentions from both sides, we can build that trust” and “accelerate the change in culture that we need in our sport.”

The move, also announced on cycling website, follows a turbulent ride for the sport’s governing body in recent months over the Lance Armstrong scandal.

Last month the UCI ratified the decision by the United States Anti-Doping Agency to strip the fallen cycling icon of his seven Tour de France titles and ban him from the sport for life.

Also last month a Swiss court found dope-tarnished American cyclist Floyd Landis guilty of defaming the UCI.

Landis had accused McQuaid and his predecessor Hein Verbruggen of concealing cases of doping and taking a bribe from Armstrong for doing so.

In the UCI announcement McQuaid also rejected complaints by some riders that the governing body had not followed up their tip-offs.

“I would like to take this opportunity to assure you that the UCI did act on information provided in the past and it will always do so in the future, within the bounds of what is legally feasible,” McQuaid said. – Agence France-Press

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