23.02.2016 21:15

Team Katusha to leave MPCC

In 2013 Team KATUSHA decided to become a member of the association Movement for a Credible Cycling (MPCC). At that time, the cycling world needed to send a strong message in favour of a clean sport after a succession of doping scandals. All the members of the MPCC decided to adopt supplementary and stricter rules in addition to the WADA Code and the UCI Regulations.

In the course of the years, the UCI adopted some of the MPCC rules such as the no-needles policy or the collective sanction against teams in case of multiple doping offenses, demonstrating MPCC’s usefulness as a pioneer in professional cycling.

Considering the clear changes and the evolution of the UCI in its approach to the fight against doping, an evolution and adaptation of the MPCC rules would have been necessary. In particular, considering the fact that a similar rule was introduced in 2015 by the UCI, one would have assumed that the MPCC rule imposing a collective sanction against team in the case of multiple doping offenses was to be withdrawn. However, no amendment to the MPCC rules were adopted, creating a duality of rules with the UCI Regulations which would undoubtedly lead to a conflicting situation.

Now Team KATUSHA is facing a very difficult position: on the one hand the Disciplinary Commission of the UCI decided not to impose any team suspension following the cases of Luca Paolini and Eduard Vorganov but on the other hand the MPCC still considers that a suspension is necessary in application of its own rules. Moreover, a suspension of Team KATUSHA during a WorldTour race based on the MPCC Rules would violate the UCI Regulations of mandatory participation and the Disciplinary Commission would then be obliged to sanction the Team.

Considering that the UCI Regulations implemented a similar team suspension provision in 2015 and that the UCI Disciplinary Commission decided not to pronounce any suspension, Team KATUSHA would have expected the MPCC to adopt the same position which would have been compliant with the UCI Regulations as well as adequate and proportionate.

However, Team KATUSHA understands that the MPCC intends to strictly apply its rule regardless of the similar UCI provision recently adopted, despite a clear decision taken in this case by the UCI Disciplinary Commission and without acknowledging the specificity of the present case. Team KATUSHA regrets the position of the MPCC and in particular its refusal to adapt its rules to the mandatory UCI Regulations. As a consequence, Team KATUSHA has no other choice but to leave the MPCC with immediate effect.

That being said, Team KATUSHA would like to underline that it continues to fight against doping by every possible means as it has done in the past years. In this respect, Team KATUSHA will continue to voluntarily apply other MPCC rules – such as the prohibition to use Tramadol or the imposition of several rest days for a rider in the event of collapsing cortisol levels. It is in the very same approach that Team KATUSHA had decided, at the beginning of the season 2015, to implement, also on a voluntarily basis, all of the ten recommendations of the cahier des charges of ISSUL.