Pressure group set up by leading sponsor to force change on UCI

Tuesday, 27 November 2012
By Duncan Mackay

Change Cycling Now logoNovember 27 - A new pressure group has been set-up to try to force change on the International Cycling Union (UCI) following the Lance Armstrong scandal and will hold its first meeting in London next week, it has been announced.

The new organisation, Change Cycling Now and the London summit has been coordinated by Australian businessman Jaimie Fuller.

Fuller's sports compression wear company, Skins currently sponsors a total of six cycling teams and national federations.

The mission of Change Cycling Now, it claimed, is "holding the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) to account for alleged mis-handling the sport's global image in the wake of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal and will discuss proposals that offer an alternative approach to re-invigorate a sport that is suffering from a globally damaged reputation".

Among those who are members of the new group of the former Sunday Times journalist Paul Kimmage, who was the subject of a lawsuit served by Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen, the President and Honorary President of the UCI, after he made accusations of corrupt practice linked to the Armstrong case.

The action was subsequently suspended and Kimmage has recently served a counter-claim for defamation.  

Pat McQuaid behind microphonesUCI President Pat McQuaid will come under pressure from Change Cycling Now

Kimmage is joined by David Walsh,  the chief sports Writer for The Sunday Times and author of four books on Lance Armstrong including, L.A. Confidential: Les secrets de Lance Armstrong

A two-day summit to be held at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in London next Sunday and Monday (December 2-3) will discuss a roadmap for global change, including, what the group claims, is the requirement for a fundamental shift in cycling's world governance and the implementation of independent anti-doping controls.

The summit will be addressed by Travis Tygart, the chief Executive of the United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA), the organisation's report on doping practices resulted in Armstrong's life ban.

Tygart will speak via conference call from the US in support of the rights of clean athletes and the integrity of sport.

Lance Armstrong Tour de France victoriesLance Armstrong's case. which saw him stripped of the seven Tour de France titles he won, has left thousands of cycling fans disillusioned with the UCI, according to Change Cycling Now officials

Earlier this month Fuller launched legal action against the UCI, claiming they mismanaged the Armstrong doping scandal.

"The creation of Change Cycling Now reflects the frustration and anger that I, and many people directly involved in the sport feel towards the UCI and their management practices," said Fuller.

"I believe we have put together a very strong core group which represents the feelings of thousands of people within the sport who want to see definite change.

"It would be easy to sit around and criticise and accuse, but we shall be discussing positive ways to effect the future with changes that can move us back towards a sport that has integrity and is also clean and credible.

"I am in no doubt that this group also represents the millions of cycling fans who share the views of those who will be around the table.

"We will also be exploring ways to ensure that these fans can join with us to send an unequivocal message to the UCI and its officers that the current approach is simply not good enough."

Contact the writer of this story at duncan.mackay@insidethegames.biz


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