LONDON, United Kingdom (BRAIN) — Tour de France hero Greg LeMond is the latest to join the self-described "global pressure group" Change Cycling Now, which is holding its first meeting and press conference in London this weekend. The group was formed after the Lance Armstrong doping scandal broke and is pushing for changes to professional cycling in general and at the the international cycling union, UCI, in particular.
“The report from the United States Anti-Doping Agency into the Lance Armstrong affair has to be a watershed moment for professional cycling,” said LeMond. “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.”
"We believe a new and alternative approach is required to how the sport is managed by its governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale" — Change Cycling Now
The group is being coordinated by Jaimie Fuller, the founder and chairman of the Australian-based Skins clothing brand. Fuller announced earlier this month that the company would be suing UCI over its handling of doping in the sport.
In a press release, the group said its mission was "creating an opportunity for EVERYONE to help generate positive changes for the future of professional cycling. We believe a new and alternative approach is required to how the sport is managed by its governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). We also believe the implementation of independent anti-doping controls are of paramount importance NOW."
Besides LeMond, other new members of the group who will be at the London meeting are Garmin team director and former pro racer Jonathan Vaughters and retired pro racer and former Cofidis team manager Eric Boyer. Former world champion Gianni Bugno will address the group in his capacity as president of the Association of Professional Cyclists.
Other attendees at the London meeting and news conference are Dr. John Hoberman, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin; Hajo Seppelt, a freelance journalist and commentator; Dr. Michael Ashenden, a blood doping expert; Paul Kimmage, a sports journalist and a former professional cyclist; and David Walsh, the chief sportswriter for The Sunday Times who has written four books on Lance Armstrong. The cycling fan who goes by the Twitter handle "Festinagirl" also will attend, as will Andy Layhe, the co-founder of anti-doping organization Bike Pure.
Fuller announced the formation of the group earlier this week.
“In the two days since the announcement of our group, we’ve had phenomenal support and that couldn’t be better emphasized by the quality of the members we have on board," he said. "As a Tour de France winner, Greg LeMond’s involvement should send the clearest message yet that we are a serious group with serious intentions and genuine motives. To have other former athletes and eminent academics joining us too will make for an interesting and I hope, rewarding weekend. The sheer fact that these people are prepared to give up their time and travel, in some cases halfway around the world, to participate reflects both their passion as well as their desire to see cycling achieve the best outcome.”
The group will meet privately over the weekend and hold a news conference Monday at London's Hilton Metropole Hotel, where the group will release its charter.
More information: www.changecyclingnow.org.