Cycle boss wants law to act on dopers
Cycling Australia president Klaus Mueller has called for doping in sport to be criminalised in the wake of the Lance Armstrong drug revelations.
Mueller says discussions between sports bodies and the federal government are now needed on a range of anti-doping measures.
And he has also backed cycling’s world governing body, the UCI, despite question marks over its culpability in the Armstrong case.
He says the UCI’s recent initiatives to stamp out drug cheats show how serious cycling is in wanting to keep the sport clean.
In a wide-ranging media briefing, the CA boss says:
* There is clear evidence world cycling is cleaner now than it has ever been;
* He is confident the systemic doping in the Armstrong/US Postal case is not occurring in top-level Australian cycling;
* An amnesty should be considered for Australian cyclists to come forward if they have knowledge of past doping; and
* Urgent discussions are needed with government to decide whether ASADA’s powers and resources are adequate enough to effectively deter and detect drug cheats.
Mueller said CA’s board had not yet formally dealt with the issue of criminalising sports doping, but had discussed it and was ready to take the next step.
“I wonder whether we haven’t got to the stage in Australia of considering whether doping in sport ought to be criminalised,” Mueller said.
“If you actually look at the conduct of Armstrong and others … the level of moral culpability there is not only that they doped themselves, but they were involved in systematically corrupting young athletes in the team to get onto the bandwagon of cheating and doping.
“It is in any view comparable with people obtaining financial advantage by deception.”
Mueller admits the sport’s reputation has been tarnished by the Armstrong revelations and he was “immensely disappointed” with the extent of the cheating uncovered.
But he said Australian Cadel Evans’ 2011 Tour de France victory provided proof the sport had turned the corner worldwide, because of the perception a clean athlete had won against all-comers.
“There was a collective sigh of relief in the fact that someone who everyone had enormous confidence in the fact he had not cheated was able to win the Tour,” Mueller said of Evans.
Mueller also said Australia’s professional road cycling team GreenEDGE had a strict anti-doping protocol in place as part of their agreements with Cycling Australia.© AAP 2013
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