Discussion in 'Pro Cycling (Road and Track Racing)' started by Keith Oates, 26 Feb 2008.

  1. Keith Oates

    Keith Oates Janner

    Penarth, Wales
    Here we go again, it's time a final and satisfactory solution was found in this game of politics. The loser will be cycling and cycling fans.!!

    Details can be found in todays cyclingnews edition.
  2. Renard

    Renard Guest

    Read it too and had similar thoughts. I do think though if the UCI are willing to disregard as important event as Paris-Nice and risk the TdF they deserve their pro-tour to be ignored by the trade teams and broken up.
  3. yenrod

    yenrod Guest

    Come on Keith how about a bloody link....
  4. OP
    Keith Oates

    Keith Oates Janner

    Penarth, Wales
    For you Yenners, I'll go one better:


    UCI threatens ASO over Paris-Nice actions
    UCI president Pat McQuaid
    Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
    UCI president Pat McQuaid has written to all professional teams to inform them that this year's Paris-Nice will not be regulated by the sport's world governing body, warning that there will be "far reaching consequences" if race organizer Amaury Sports Organization continues on its current course of action. The Irishman's letter comes after the French Cycling Federation agreed to a request from ASO, which also organizes the Tour de France, to run the 75 year-old race as a national calendar event "under the exclusive jurisdiction of French law".

    McQuaid was clearly upset with ASO's actions, as the war of words between the sport's international governing body and the Grand Tour organizers enters yet another chapter.

    "The current organizers are behaving in a very irrational way," McQuaid told Associated Press. "It's about power and it has nothing to do with sport. We cannot allow this to happen."

    Describing ASO's actions as "utterly irregular", the UCI has threatened to have no involvement with the first major European race of 2008. It said that no international or national commissaries would be authorized to work at the event as it will not be governed by the UCI rules if ASO continues to organize the race as a national calendar event.

    "The UCI wished it to be known first of all that, under the chosen format (event on the national calendar, under exclusive jurisdiction of French law), the UCI rules do not permit Paris-Nice to be considered an event on the French national calendar," read a release from the UCI. "Consequently, if the FFC insists on maintaining this position, the race will take place entirely outside the regulatory and organisational structure of the UCI.

    "Responsibility for this breach of the rules would therefore lie in the first place with the FFC, which would be contributing to the organisation of a purely private event, with no links to organised sport or to the Olympic movement, of which the UCI is the sole organ of reference for all disciplines of cycling

    "The UCI therefore wishes to make it clear that it will not be involved in any way in the organisation of Paris-Nice under the above-mentioned conditions," added the release. "This means that, as far as the International Federation is concerned, this event will have no classification and no winner, and no points will be awarded for it. Moreover, no anti-doping controls will be carried out by the UCI, nor will it be involved in the management of any tests which may be carried out under national law."

    The latest political situation in the UCI/ASO power play is a reverse of the events that took place just 12 months ago. Then, the UCI was threatening to ban the Paris-Nice race from the ProTour if ASO didn't comply with the rules of the ProTour by inviting all 20 ProTour teams to participate.

    During the 2007 saga, ASO approached the FFC about running the event under its governance as the UCI threatened to cut the event lose. While the dispute was said to be over the organiser's inability to invite Unibet.com to participate in any French events due to the nation's gambling laws, it was widely accepted that the new ProTour team became a pawn in the UCI Vs. Grand Tour battle. Despite the political uproar in the lead-up to last year's race, the event went ahead following a 'crisis meeting' - without the Unibet.com team.

    While McQuaid hasn't said whether the UCI would move to sanction any teams participating in the event, he has requested that in the interest of the sport they refuse to take part in the March 9-16 race. "The UCI trusts that, recognising the seriousness of the situation, the teams will refuse to take part in Paris-Nice, as, regardless of the sanctions to which they would be subject, such participation would compromise the image and stability of cycling.

    "Given that it is the role of an International Federation to safeguard the general interests of its sport from the influence of commercial groups, the UCI invites all the members of its extended family to stand by it in what will most certainly be difficult times ahead, and to oppose the unacceptable insubordination of ASO and its allies," continued the release. "These irresponsible attitudes threaten to undermine the remarkable efforts recently made in cycling, in particular with the biological passport, which the UCI reserves the right to apply as a priority to those of its partners who abide by its rules."

    While tensions had seemingly simmered earlier this year when the UCI proposed a special calendar for the events run by the three Grand Tour organizers, the boiling pot's temperature again rose when ASO announced earlier this month Astana wouldn't be invited to contest the Tour de France, or any of its other 2008 races. While ASO said it would consider the team in future years, McQuaid was upset that the organization had singled out Astana, which has been completely rebuilt under new management since last season, and not French squad Cofidis, which was also thrown off last year's Tour after one of its riders registered a positive doping test.

    The UCI closed its statement with a plea to the FFC and French Secretary of State for Sport, asking them to reconsider their decision with regards to Paris-Nice.

    "The UCI asks the FFC and the Secretary of State for Sport, as a matter of the utmost urgency, to re-examine and reconsider their decision to support a position taken by a private company with the apparent aim of promoting its own commercial interests, with scant regard to the fair, open and universally respected rules defended by the UCI."

  5. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

  6. walker

    walker New Member

    Bromley, Kent
    The only winners out of this will be the Sponsors I think. They will make the riders ride any big ride regardless of the governing body. I can see this spliting the sport in two, just like rugby union and league type of thing
  7. There's a certain sense of deja vu - UCI did the same last year...
  8. mondobongo

    mondobongo Über Member

    The UCI are behaving in such a pompus and bombastic manner they can only alienate the Teams and Organisers leading to a split. The UCI should be working to resolve issues not bring up more requesting teams not to attend and implying their may be sanctions if you race hardly the behaviour of supposed grown ups is it?
    Sod the UCI am sure that the riders could set up a new governing body with more teeth than the UCI.
  9. Dave5N

    Dave5N Über Member

    If it comes to a showdown, UCI will lose. Deservedly.
  10. mondobongo

    mondobongo Über Member

    It looks like ASO are going to the wire on this one and are not going to back down having appointed the French doping agency to run Anti Doping at Paris-Nice, article from Cycling News below. Interesting point regarding Anti Doping at the TdF will the UCI cut off its nose?

    ASO appoints French anti-doping agency for Paris-Nice

    By Mark Appleton and Jeff Jones, Bikeradar.com
    Racing to the sun?
    Photo ©: AFP [​IMG] Paris-Nice road race organiser ASO has, under the auspices of the French Cycling Federation, placed France’s national anti-doping agency the AFLD in charge of doping control at the season’s traditional ‘Race to the Sun’ curtain-raiser. The news will come as a further slap in the face to the UCI, who yesterday said that if the race goes ahead without its doping control officials and commissaires, it effectively enters the realms of a private competition with no international status whatsoever.
    However, it appears that the AFLD was well prepared for the call from ASO, perhaps not surprisingly as the story has more than a sense of déjà vu about it, mirroring as it does events surrounding last year’s race. And in an ominous indication of a potential escalation of the clash between the international federation and ASO, the AFLD has indicated that it is ready to take on similar responsibilities for the Tour de France.
    ASO's agreement with AFLD is due to be signed on Thursday, with ASO spokesperson Christophe Marchadier saying the French company was simply waiting "for the teams to express themselves" before continuing down its chosen path.
    No longer, it seems, is the agency simply viewing itself in the role of a UCI contractor, implementing doping controls deemed appropriate by cycling’s international governing body. Speaking before Monday’s announcement by the UCI which denounced the "insubordination of ASO and it allies," AFLD president Pierre Bordry said. "The first thing we had to consider was our strategy. The UCI’s approach seemed too systematic to us. They test only the stage winners and the overall race leader. To avoid being tested it is sufficient to simply finish down the field. There needs to be more random testing."
    Under French law the AFLD can test nails, hair and even skin samples and Bordry has said that it may be necessary for his organisation to undertake testing outside of France in the run-up to the Tour, if indeed they are charged with running the Grand Tour’s anti-doping programme. However, the possibility that the AFLD will take on such a role also throws into question the future of the biological passport programme instigated by the UCI.
    "These irresponsible attitudes threaten to undermine the remarkable efforts recently made in cycling, in particular with the biological passport, which the UCI reserves the right to apply as a priority to those of its partners who abide by its rules," the federation said a strongly worded statement yesterday.
  11. yello

    yello Legendary Member

    McQuaid's a dick. I'm sorry, I would like to be more constructive and have reasoned opinions etc but I think my initial reaction best sums up my feelings.
  12. OP
    Keith Oates

    Keith Oates Janner

    Penarth, Wales
    I can understand your feeling yello, but must disagree. ASO are the ones that consider themselves above everyone else and they want to call the tune in professional racing. It's a dangerous path they may eventually regret, if the UCI ideas of getting Australia, America, China, Russia, Malaysia to increase their participation it could mean a lowering of the importance of the TdF, which is the Big One at the moment and rightly so. IMO ASO have not done themselves any favours by excluding Astana and not the other three teams that also caused problems in last years TdF.
  13. yello

    yello Legendary Member

    Understanding a little of the French attitude (in as much as one can say that), I can see that ASO want to run the show. It's a pride thing as much as anything else. The TdF is theirs and they'll oppose anything they consider interference!

    The TdF is the biggest show in town and I reckon they resent UCI trying to muscle in. I can't honestly see it being resolved long term. What that means in reality, I don't know... cycling to become like boxing with several 'world' bodies??
  14. walker

    walker New Member

    Bromley, Kent
    The ASO will lose the TdF as we know it. Cycling as a sport isn't big enough to be run by seperate bodies.
  15. Tetedelacourse

    Tetedelacourse New Member

    Darts isn't as big as cycling and it's handled that way. I haven't a clue who will win but agree that riders and fans will ultimately be the ones who pay the price.
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