Former pro cycle team members, world renowned doping experts, and campaigning international journalists will be part of a global pressure group which aims to force change upon international cycling’s governing body and propose a positive vision for cycling’s future when it meets for the first time in London next week.
The group, Change Cycling Now, 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. The two-day summit will discuss a roadmap for global change, including the requirement for a fundamental shift in cycling’s world governance and the implementation of independent anti-doping controls. Among those who will be in London when the group meets on Sunday, December 2nd will be one of the world’s foremost blood doping experts, Michael Ashenden, who formerly acted on the UCI panel and Professor Antoine Vayer, a former cycling trainer, who attended the famous Festina doping trial in 2000 as a professional expert and morality witness. He is also a regular contributor to French newspaper, Le Monde.
International media will be represented by two campaigning journalists who have each written of widespread drug abuse within cycling over the last decade. Freelance writer Paul Kimmage, was the subject of a lawsuit served by the President and former President of the UCI after he made accusations of corrupt practice. The action was subsequently suspended and Kimmage has recently served a counter-claim for defamation. He 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. His latest publication, Seven Deadly Sins will be published next month. Like Kimmage, Walsh has campaigned to reveal the truth of widespread doping in the face of fierce intimidation from within cycling’s corridors of power.
Travis Tygart the Chief Executive of the United States Anti Doping Agency, (USADA) has accepted an invitation to address the meeting. USADA’s report on doping practices resulted in Lance Armstrong’s life ban,and Mr. Tygart will speak via conference call from the U.S. in support of the rights of clean athletes and the integrity of sport.
The new organisation, Change Cycling Now and the London summit has been co-ordinated by Australian businessman Jaimie Fuller. Fuller’s sports compression wear company, Skins currently sponsors a total of six cycling teams and national federations.
27th November, 2012
Fuller said: “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. 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.”
A Press Conference will be held in London immediately after the conclusion of the summit when the Change Cycling Now group will present details of their discussions and be available for interview. Details of the press conference are confirmed below. Further announcements regarding the summit, including additional group members, will be made later this week.
Notes to Editors
Press Conference Details
Monday, December 3rd, 2012.
Hilton Metropole Hotel, 225, Edgware Road, London. W2 1JU
The Press conference is being held in Meeting Rooms 1-6 on the 3rd floor of the Hilton Metropole Hotel. Please enter through the Tower Wing Entrance. We would be grateful if you would notify us of your intention to attend or to send a representative.
Biographies of confirmed members
Dr. Michael Ashenden
Blood doping expert
Michael Ashenden is regarded as one of the world’s foremost experts on blood doping and the biological passport. He is a leading anti-doping campaigners and formerly served as an expert on the UCI panel. He has acted as an expert witness in high profile cases, including those of Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador. He insists the Cycling Federation’s reputation as leaders in the field of drug testing in recent years is ill deserved.
Jaimie Fuller is a businessman whose vision prompted the creation of Change Cycling Now. He is a dedicated cycling fan and a firm advocate of The True Spirit Of Competition; a maxim which epitomises his company’s corporate approach He is based at the Skins’ headquarters in Switzerland and in November 2012, served a demand on the UCI for damages of $2 million as a consequence of alleged mis-management in the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.
Sports journalist and author
Paul Kimmage is a sports journalist who, until his departure in early 2012, wrote for the Sunday Times newspaper. Kimmage had a career as a professional cyclist, participating in three Tour de France races and riding for teams RMO and Fagor-MBK. He retired in 1989 with no wins, blaming systemic doping in the peloton. In his book Rough Ride he detailed his experiences as a domestique which included references to drug use, including his own. Kimmage maintains a passion for the removal of doping from the sport of cycling.
Professor for sports and physical education
Antoine Vayer worked with the Festina team as the first real “cycling trainer” from 1995, where he introduced modern methods of studying athletes to create training plans for increased performance. After the 1998 affair, he left to create “AlternatiV”, to encourage scientists and the riders to use his methods. He attended the Festina trial in 2000 as a “performance expert” and “morality witness”. Today, Vayer teaches as a professor for sports and physical education in Brittany and is a contributing author for the French magazine Le cycle and a writer for Le Monde.
Sports journalist and Author
David Walsh, is the chief sportswriter for the Sunday Times and has written four books on Lance Armstrong, including L.A. Confidential: Les secrets de Lance Armstrong. Armstrong’s have lawyers filed lawsuits in various countries including one against the Sunday Times. Many of the incidents and allegations in the book were featured in the USADA 2012 report on the US Postal Service cycling team.
About Change Cycling Now:
Change Cycling Now is an organisation committed to creating an opportunity for EVERYONE to help generate positive changes for the future of professional cycling.
We believe a new and alternative approach is required to how the sport is managed by its governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). We also believe the implementation of independent anti-doping controls are of paramount importance NOW.
Contact details for UK Media:
Mobile: +44 (0)7765 237236