Charity Tour de France?

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Given the utter corruption of the Tour by the commercial/pharmaceutical culture and the hamstringing of the clean up by a combination of mendacious participants, incompetent bureaucrats and US lawyers, perhaps an entirely different approach would maintain the best of the Tour and give pro-cycling help in getting it's house in order.

What if it was run as a fundraising event for international development and health charities? To enter teams would have to be racing on behalf of a reputable organisation - Oxfam, Medecins sans frontiere, UNICEF etc.

I'm sure they would see the enormous fundraising potential, but would demand oversight of the ethical/medical processes of 'their' team as much to protect their own integrity as anything else. Martin Bell, as chair of the War on Want team's oversight for instance, would make damn sure he knew the right questions to ask and tests to demand and have access to the sort of independent experts who could assess the answers and results.

Perhaps, small changes to the rules to put more emphasis on the team rather than the individual - big gains for the first team to get five past a way point (at least one of whom must be a female member of the team ?;)) - for instance, would give an extra, more positive focus without detracting from the overall spectacle.

I'm sure there are other ways too of introducing much needed change, but I think it has to involve outsiders. Does anyone seriously believe that introducing team GB, or team France is going to persuade the world that cycling's clean?

Anyway. Whaja think?

Smokin Joe

Legendary Member
Cycling has become one of the cleanest sports in the world, because increased and better testing is catching high profile riders and the attitude of teams and race organisers is now ensuring that anyone caught is finished career wise. If you want to bugger about with the format of major events to cut or eradicate doping, start with the Olympics and all the major athletics events then the tennis tournaments.


New Member
With sponsors deserting like rats off a sinking ship, the last thing you need is to remove their logos from the riders in the biggest races. The sponsors are the ones who pay the bills and keep the sport going, pi$$ them off any more and it will become an amateur event run over a long weekend! I know the sport need's to change, but I believe that they are at trying to head in the right direction.

Keith Oates

Penarth, Wales
The sport is cleaing up it's act, what it needs is for us, the fans, to give it a chance to make it cleaner. However I think that along with all sports and walks of life there will be some trying to gain an unfair advantage!!!!!!!
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