Angry cycling supporters meet in London
The organiser of a new cycling lobby group that will target the UCI is “staggered” by the interest he has attracted.
Three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond will attend a two-day conference in London early next week to launch the Change Cycling Now body.
Garmin-Sharp team director Jonathan Vaughters and former Italian star Gianni Bugno will also attend.
Australian businessman Jaimie Fuller is organising the group in the wake of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.
Prominent Australian anti-doping scientist Dr Michael Ashenden had already committed to attending the London conference.,
“I am staggered, because I’ve been doing this for two weeks,” Fuller told AAP.
“To bring a group of people of that calibre together … and particularly the short notice, it’s an enormous indication of frustration that everybody feels that they want to be part of this.
“They’re prepared to drop everything and fly to London.”
The UCI, cycling’s world governing body, has come under increasing pressure as a result of Armstrong’s lifetime doping ban.
Fuller, the chairman of the Skins sporting apparel company, is also suing the UCI for $2 million because of the Armstrong scandal.
“I’ve reached the point where I believe it’s futile appealing to the UCI,” Fuller said.
“The UCI have shown without a shadow of a doubt they believe they’re unaccountable, unanswerable and self-elected – everybody else can go rot.”
Fuller added that the legal action and the lobby group combined represented “a bit of a pincer movement for me.”
His case is going through legal avenues.
“I cannot see this (the case) being resolved as a conciliation process,” he said.
LeMond, who fell out with Armstrong a decade ago over the issue of doping, said in a statement he was keen to support the new group.
“The report from the United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) into the Lance Armstrong affair has to be a watershed moment for professional cycling,” LeMond said.
“There is still an opportunity to ensure cycling presents itself as a genuine world leader in the elimination of doping and drug taking in sport.
“But to do that requires a determination to force change and I am delighted to be part of a group that is full of people who are committed to the cause.”
The UCI is undergoing an independent review as a result of the Armstrong scandal.
Armstrong himself decided not to contest the USADA case, but continues to deny that he doped in his professional cycling career.© AAP 2013
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