PARIS (AFP) — The nomination of two first division teams, the former Rabobank squad and Lampre, has been validated by members of the Movement for a credible Cycling, MPCC president Roger Legeay said on Friday.
Three other candidates, Veranda Willems, Crelan (formerly Landbouwkrediet) and Norwegian squad Oster Hus-Ridler, were also approved.
MPCC members will vote on the five teams will be voted on February 7, 2013, at the group’s next general meeting.
Lampre is embroiled in two doping investigations, with 2011 Giro d’Italia winner Michele Scarponi suspended due to his place in the Padua investigation, and a number of current and former staff and riders under suspicion in the Mantova investigation. An Italian court is set to hear the Montova next week. The team suspended Scarponi in early November and the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) recommended a three-month ban. Former Giro chief Angelo Zomegnan joined the squad this fall as an advisor.
Rabobank is in the process of withdrawing from the sport in the wake of the Armstrong Affair. The team’s previous management allegedly oversaw an organized doping program in the early 2000s, but when evidence of the U.S. Postal Service conspiracy went public, the Dutch bank said it was pulling out of the sport. The team will start 2013 riding under a white label, still backed by Rabobank and top sponsors like Giant and Shimano, as it searches for a new title sponsor.
The MPCC now comprises almost 20 teams, including Ag2r La Mondiale, Argos-Shimano, Cofidis, Europcar, FDJ-BigMat, Garmin-Sharp, Lotto-Belisol and Saur-Sojasun.
Based since its inception in 2007 on a voluntary adherence, it imposes rules more stringent than those of the World Anti-Doping Code.