February 25/08 3:36 am - No UCI Status for Paris-Nice?
Posted by Editoress on 02/25/08
UCI Informs Teams That Paris-Nice Will Be Unregulated
UCI Press Office
In a letter sent today to all professional teams, UCI President Pat McQuaid outlined the situation that has arisen as a result of the French Cycling Federation's (FFC) decision to agree to ASO's request to organise Paris-Nice as an event on the national calendar, under the exclusive jurisdiction of French law.
This measure is utterly irregular and will have far-reaching consequences for all parties involved.
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. 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. 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.
Finally, no international or national commissaires will be authorised to work at the event, which will not be governed by UCI rules.
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. 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 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.