Q & A with Christian Prudhomme about anti-doping efforts

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Jelly Belly p/b Kenda is part of the Movement for Credible Cycling, whose members agree to abide by ethical criteria that go beyond the World Anti-Doping Agency code. MPCC members commit to not to sign riders who have been suspended for doping, to control the use of corticoid injections and to immediately suspend riders from racing if they fail an anti-doping control. Check out this interview the organization did with Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France.

How did you take into account MPCC members while choosing the teams invited for the next Criterium International (March, 23rd-24th)?

We have invited all the MPCC teams who applied to the race, 11 teams in that case. Then, we chose the rest of the teams given the roster they were proposing. This is a rule we wish to apply to all our HC races (Tour of Qatar, Tour of Oman, Paris-Tours).

As the AIOCC president, what message did you want to convey to organizers in relation to MPCC ?

The AIOCC position hasn’t moved since November, when I presented it during its general assembly: priority goes to MPCC teams. Obviously, it doesn’t mean that organizers have to invite only MPCC teams. But MPCC sets harder rules to its own teams and riders, and I welcome it. When two teams are at the same level, we have to show that the MPCC one defends a cycling we love, a cycling from a better world. Not a perfect world, but a better one. For instance, on ASO races, all the wild-cards for World Tour races are reserved for MPCC teams.

Is the notion of probationary period, set by MPCC for some of the new members, important ?

Yes, I’m fully satisfied with this decision, it’s definitely what the MPCC philosophy is. We all want to tend towards a better cycling, and sometimes, it’s necessary to wait a bit to assess the evolution in behaviors. MPCC stated from the beginning that it would not close the door on new members. But if we consider what happened in the past, it is a good decision to implement a probationary period. Teams that are concerned have one year to show their efforts, and if everything goes well, they become then full MPCC members. This probationary period was indeed an appropriate decision for MPCC, its credibility and the credibility of those who defend its values.

Should UCI align its rules with those set by MPCC, as it started to, taking position on corticosteroids ?

The problem is that the rules set by MPCC are even harder than those of the World Anti-Doping Code. In fact, MPCC is going beyond sport in general and its rules. If those rules were adopted by a federation, they would obviously have to be applied to everybody, and that would be better understood by all.

Isn’t there a risk of a two-tier cycling since eight World Tour teams are not MPCC members ?

No, because all the teams, MPCC members or not, have anyway the obligation to comply with the World Anti-Doping Code. Some teams decide to set harder rules for themselves, but it doesn’t mean that the others don’t comply with the anti-doping rules that govern the world of professional sport, beyond cycling.

LCL, the yellow jersey sponsor for 25 years, and PMU, the green jersey sponsor, recently joined MPCC. Are you behind this decision ?

No, but I am pleased that we share the same values. This is exactly why LCL is the Tour de France’s first private partner and its most loyal sponsor for 30 years. The same is the case for PMU, which has been a Tour de France sponsor for more than 20 years. There is no coincidence. Through all the difficulties, we have always been there for each other. It simply means that we share the same philosophy, and that we wish for a more credible cycling, a cycling that has the values defended by MPCC.

See the interview and other MPCC news at http://mpcc.unblog.fr/category/info-news/

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