Proposals for Change in Cycling…

Bike Pure began as a simple anti doping message, a platform where athletes could illustrate they ride without performance enhancing drugs and respect their fellow competitors to compete on pure talent alone, acting as sincere role models to cyclists worldwide.

Now with an effective presence in more than 96 countries and rising, we are utilizing our extensive membership to make a positive change to our sport. We feel that the education of young athletes is paramount in helping them make honest, ethical choices in sport, should they ever be faced with a decision to dope or cheat.

A BLUEPRINT FOR A NEW START TO CYCLE RACING:

Bike Pure is making an impact in the fight against doping and it is through the continued support from every member in every corner of the world that we are making steady progress and raising awareness that is is simply wrong to dope.  We are compiling a blueprint for the future, outlining our objectives, proposals and thoughts on taking the sport forward, an ever changing correlation of ideas and suggestions. A collection of proposals, which we hope once implemented, will improve cycle sport and help eradicate doping culture. These recommendations could form a new beginning for cycle sport, ensuring that integrity is restored to our wonderful sport. Some of the points below have already been implemented since we initially raised them which we feel is a major step in the right direction.

Cycle sport has vastly improved on an anti-doping level in the last few seasons, especially compared to the efforts of other mainstream sports. Subsequent to the Lance Armstrong sanctions and publication of USADA’s Reasoned Decision document, the sport slipped into a realm of chaos, uncertainty and has lacked leadership at the highest level. We need to ensure those involved in anti-doping are encouraged to continue to work through the difficulties the sport faces.

Step one is accepting that there is a problem within cycling. We can either ignore it, or work to bring about change. Bike Pure is about structured repair and preserving our sport for the next generation. The second draft of our proposals was formally submitted to the UCI, WADA, professional teams, race organizers and national cycling federations with the hope of bringing about change. Everybody who has added their name in support of Bike Pure has a voice, their own ideas and proposals for an improved sport. We urge you to send us your own affirmative, workable suggestions on how to eliminate doping from cycling and improve our sports image (regardless of how brief or detailed your idea).

1. We propose longer bans from competition and coaching, for those who use, administer or are found to encourage the use of illegal performance enhancing methods. This protects the sport from corrupt coaches, managers, team doctors etc. whose lengthy careers within the sport can have a damaging effect on many generations of professional riders. If riders who have committed doping offences are willing to admit to their mistakes, assist anti-doping agencies with information and accept to help repair the damage they may have caused to the sport then athletes could be offered a reduced sanction if deemed appropriate.

For example, sanctions may be reduced only when a rider fulfils the following criteria:
a. Full disclosure of supply of illegal products used and methods used to avoid detection.
b. Provide a testimonial to young riders on the effects and implications doping has had on their life and career.
c. Repayment of salaries and prize money during the previous 12 months of competition.

Exceptions:
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Riders under 21 years old would be subject to a 2-year suspension.
 An appeal committee would review the banned substance, if:
i) The prohibited substance is on the banned list but not verified to have a significant performance advantage.
ii) negligence is a factor in the positive return.
iii) or proven accidental ingestion by means of supplement or other.

In these cases a warning or less stringent one or two year suspension could be decided. Riders must be fully aware of the implications of doping and that a decision to do so can ultimately end ones career.

2. All testing to be carried out by an independent global testing agency/organisation, built on competence, honesty and independence. This independent body must have no affiliation with any cycling governing body, team or sponsor linked to cycle sport. The structure of the national testing bodies could remain but with active independent central control, lab monitoring and regulation.

3. On the second positive test by a cycling team in any year, that team will forfeit automatic Grand Tour or race entry and be stripped of status for a period of time, this will hopefully encourage more efficient internal controls and transparency within teams to eradicate doping.

4. Suspensions for riders to be fully implemented globally, regardless of geographical location and/or National Federation.

5. Offending riders and team personnel involved in administration of doping practices and the administers/suppliers of illegal drugs punished accordingly in line with judicial law. Team management will be responsible for endemic (3 positive returns in 24 month period) drug use – This will incur a life ban from any future professional cycling involvement.

6. The full public disclosure of all riders’ medication notes (TUE’s) eg. Asthma remedies, Cortisone creams, Testosterone supplements etc. Mitigating medicines be collated on an approved list. All riders submit a full medical to be assessed by an independent body for approval.

7. Team Medical: The disclosure of all riders VO2 max measurements and other parameters, ensuring profiles can be built up and maintained in conjunction with the current bio-passport system.

8. The banning of the use of syringes (except proved for medical purposes) by riders. Vitamins and recovery aids etc to be taken orally. All prescribed medicine undertaken only by central independent doctors.

9. Authorities and anti-doping agencies collaborating with previous doping offenders to help improve testing procedures. Former dopers, although part of the initial problem, would be able to provide information on how riders evade detection and the methods and practices involved. Their reasons for doping could be taken and published as case studies for the prevention of doping, outlining the physical, mental and far reaching effects effects that doping brings.

10. Publication of annual or real-time individual’s blood, urine and Vo2 profiles into a secure global database would lead to an increased transparency and therefore trust.

11. Pharmaceutical companies must be pressured to report to anti-doping authorities any anomalies or suspicions regarding the increase in demand/consumption of certain performance enhancers. These drug manufacturers Research and Development departments could ensure reliance on the latest detection methods and/or drug manipulation protocols to place a ‘marker’ in all products for ease of detection.

12. Teams, riders and national federations informed within 24 hours on return of a positive A sample. Riders license is immediately suspended. We propose these protocols be introduced for the notification of an athletes positive return. This protocol will eliminate perceived favoritism and human error of judgment.
Further reading: Please view our Future Champions Program information page.

13. A graded sanctioning system of performance enhancing drugs and methods. Sanctions could reflect the severity and effectiveness of certain doping products.

14. The formation of an independent organisation or union that could act as a representative body for professional riders experiencing difficulties or wishing to relay confidential information. This could be effective not only in tackling doping but also with contractual difficulties, salary issues, physical and mental well being of athletes to essentially act as a safe haven for those who have little trust in the current system.

A a cyclist or cycling fan, your voice can make a difference. Love your sport – protect it. Email info @ bikepure.org