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The UCI on Thursday said cycling teams’ decision to boycott the Tour of Beijing will not affect the organization’s policy on race radios.
The organization also explained that two representatives from the teams’ association were barred from attending the first meeting of the Professional Cycling Council on Thursday because they support the boycott plan.
The CCP is a new body that has replaced the UCI ProTour Council since the creation of the UCI WorldTour last year. It held its first meeting Thursday in Milan.
Garmin-Cervelo team boss Jonathan Vaughters, who is president of the teams association, AIGCP, is a non-voting representative on the council, as is former pro Gianni Bugno, who is president of the racer’s association, the CPA.
The UCI press release said the Vaughters and Bugno “had been formally invited to choose between participating in the meeting and standing by the AIGCP and CPA in their threat to launch boycotts and strikes against the proposed ban on the use of earpieces during races.”
“While regretting their decision not to take part in today’s constructive discussion, particularly as regards the safety aspects of the issue, (UCI) President (Pat) McQuaid regretfully noted this new element of tension in the situation. It will not, however, change the UCI’s position on the subject.
Over the first half of the day the CCP discussed at length the fundamental principles of the anti-doping campaign, in particular the length of suspension to be imposed in the event of a first serious violation of the rules.
After analysing in detail the existing legal framework, notably the World Anti-Doping Code, and other constraints that must be taken into account in the evaluation and management of every doping case, the CCP decided to recommend increasing the suspension period for doping offences involving a serious substance from two to four years.
The CCP also asked the UCI to look into the possibility of introducing a system of penalties to be applied to teams looking to take on a rider returning to cycling after a period of suspension for a doping offence.
After reviewing the 2012 calendar the CCP also agreed to evaluate the feasibility of including a “Sprint Challenge” event in the Quebec and Montreal Grands Prix, with the cooperation of the UCI ProTeams. The concept was trialled as a demonstration event in 2010.
UCI Press Office