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Bardiani-CSF rejoins MPCC as ‘probationary member’

Italian Pro Continental squad Bardiani-CSF is rejoining the MPCC for 2018, according to a statement the team released Monday. The MPCC followed up the team’s announcement with a confirmation, although stipulating that Bardiani-CSF will re-enter the organization as a “probationary member.”

The MPCC — a French acronym that translates to the “movement for credible cycling” in English — is a union of professional cycling teams whose stated purpose is “to defend the idea of a clean cycling based on notions of transparency, responsibility, and mobilization of its members.” Founded in 2007, the organization comprises a number of teams from the WorldTour, Professional Continental, and Continental ranks, as well as several UCI Women’s Teams.

MPCC teams impose voluntary anti-doping measures that go beyond those required by the UCI. Among those additional measures are immediate provisional suspensions for riders returning positive tests, two-year hiring bans on riders that have tested positive and been banned for more than six months, and mandatory rest days for riders who return low cortisol levels.

Bardiani-CSF was previously a member of the MPCC from 2012 to 2015 but split from the organization after allowing Nicola Boem to race the Giro d’Italia despite returning low cortisol levels in the run-up to the event. It also saw two riders excluded from the 2017 Giro due to failed anti-doping tests in the lead-up to the race.

Bardiani-CSF is not the only squad to have broken with the MPCC in recent years over the organization’s rules surrounding cortisol, which are designed to combat corticosteroid abuse, although low cortisol readings do not necessarily correlate to the use of banned substances.

LottoNL-Jumbo also left the MPCC in 2015 shortly after George Bennett was withheld from the Giro for low cortisol levels, while Astana was dropped from the MPCC after the team allowed Lars Boom to race the Tour de France later that year despite low cortisol levels.

Bardiani-CSF’s return to the MPCC’s ranks makes it the third “new” Pro Continental member for the 2018 season, along with Vital Concept and Euskadi-Murias.

“The decision taken by Bruno and Roberto Reverberi, general and team manager of Bardiani-CSF, arises from the will to strengthen more and more the internal policy on anti-doping and transparency,” said the team via Monday’s press release.

“Last month, after a clarifying conversation with the President of the Association Roger Legeay, the team officially presented its purpose to become a member again. On December the 27th, the MPCC Board of Directors validated the membership.”

The MPCC’s own press release noted the probationary nature of the reunion.

“On 27 December, the MPCC’s Board of Directors validated their membership on probation. The purpose of the movement is not to refuse teams applications,” read the MPCC’s statement. “We will always be pleased when a team wants to commit to rules that are stricter than international authorities. In return, the MPCC demands an uncompromising respect for the regulation of the movement before considering full membership.”

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