Monday 20 November 2017

McQuaid pledges further supports for cyclists

UCI President Pat McQuaid
UCI President Pat McQuaid

International Cycling Union president Pat McQuaid hopes new policy proposals will provide riders with the right amount of support and mentoring to help the long-term battle against doping.

Under the proposals, there will be new team structures to ensure that there is one doctor, one coach and one sports director, each holding separate responsibilities, for every seven riders within the group.

There will be the introduction of a skills certification standard to make sure all those working within professional cycling are suitably qualified and approved to do so.

"Today's riders should never be faced with having to make the same choices as previous generations," said McQuaid, whose rival for the UCI presidential election later this month is Brian Cookson of British Cycling,

"Today's teams and those of the future must be built upon a model where riders are placed at the centre of the organisation where their performance is monitored and underpinned through collaboration with a multi-disciplinary scientific team.

"This will enhance the level of monitoring care and support available to each rider, thereby helping riders to better manage their workload, race schedule and recovery."

McQuaid also acknowledged the UCI must introduce a sustainable economic model to help teams implement the new proposed initiatives.

He added: "This may well require the UCI to reduce the size of teams at UCI World Tour level and UCI Continental level by five or more riders respectively."

The UCI Congress will elect the world governing body's next president at the World Road Championships on September 27 in Florence, Italy.

British Cycling president Cookson is challenging McQuaid for the leadership of the international governing body in what is becoming an increasingly bitter election contest - and a process which is still in dispute after McQuaid failed to secure a nomination from either his home country, Ireland, or Switzerland, his current place of residence.

McQuaid now wants the UCI Congress to vote in a rule change to allow him to be nominated by Thailand and Morocco. A number of federations, including the United States, have asked for the UCI to take the dispute to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for a decision on whether that should be permitted.

McQuaid yesterday issued a strongly-worded statement in response to corruption allegations. He has also written an open letter to all of the national cycling federations, in which he called for Cookson to condemn such "gangster politics" and help protect the "democratic process" of electing a new leader.

The election comes against the background of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal which erupted 12 months ago.

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