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Riders to don white tape in Milan-San Remo to show anti-doping unity

MILAN (VN) — Fans may notice a piece of white tape on the arms of riders at Milan-San Remo Saturday. In a release distributed Friday, the Association of Professional Cyclists said that riders would carry the tape as a symbol of unity over the anti-doping proposals made in the last week by the groups representing teams (AIGCP), doctors (AIMEC) and riders (CPA).

Among those proposals were calls for four-year bans in the instance of confirmed, egregious doping.

“Distributed to all riders at the start of Milan-San Remo will be white tape to be affixed to the arm or under the seat for to raise public awareness on the sensitive issue of sports justice, as well as a sign of adherence to the proposals made in recent days by the associations,” read the release. “We all say yes to fight against doping increasingly tightly and effectively, provided however that this does not ignore respect for the principles fundamentally underlying sports.”

According to the CPA, those principles are autonomy and speed of trial and transparency and certainty of evidence. The group called for quicker turn around times in doping prosecutions, while also asking for greater accountability and transparency in the use of UCI biological passport information.

“This tool, effective for identification of athletes who have to be subjected to more doping controls must be clearly improved in cases where it is used as indirect evidence of doping,” said the CPA. “It is in fact crucial to avoid even the suspicion that arises that you are punishing a innocent athlete.”

The CPA proposed ensuring transparency by including at least one rider representative among the passport panel and providing the panel with the blood profiles of all athletes in the system, not only those with abnormal values.

“At stake is the credibility of anti-doping,” the release read in closing, “at stake is the credibility of cycling.”