Former pro cycle team members, world renowned doping experts, and campaigning international journalists will be part of a global pressure group, named Change Cycling Now, which aims to force change upon the UCI and propose a positive vision for cycling’s future when it meets for the first time in London next week.
The group is holding the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI)
International media is represented by two campaigning journalists who have each written of widespread drug abuse within cycling over the last decade. Freelance writer Paul Kimmage was the subject of a lawsuit served by the President and former President of the UCI after he made accusations of corrupt practices. The action was later suspended and Kimmage has recently served a counter-claim for defamation. He is joined by David Walsh, the chief sports writer for The Sunday Times and author of four books on Lance Armstrong including, “L.A. Confidential: Les secrets de Lance Armstrong.” His latest publication, “Seven Deadly Sins,” will be published next month. Like Kimmage, Walsh has campaigned to reveal the truth of widespread doping in the face of fierce intimidation from within cycling’s corridors of power.
Travis Tygart, the Chief Executive of the United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA), has accepted an invitation to address the meeting. USADA’s report on doping practices resulted in Lance Armstrong’s lifetime ban, and Tygart will speak via conference call from the United States in support of the rights of clean athletes and integrity of cycling.
Both the new organization, Change Cycling Now, and the London summit are being coordinated by Australian businessman Jaimie Fuller. Fuller’s sports compression wear company, SKINS, currently sponsors a total of six cycling teams and national federations.
“The creation of Change Cycling Now reflects the frustration and anger that I, and many people directly involved in the sport feel towards the UCI and their management practices. I believe we have put together a very strong core group which represents the feelings of thousands of people within the sport who want to see definite change,” expressed Fuller. “It would be easy to sit around and criticize and accuse, but we shall be discussing positive ways to affect the future with changes that can move us back towards a sport that has integrity and is also clean and credible. I have no doubt that this group also represents the millions of cycling fans who share the views of those who will be around the table. We will also be exploring ways to ensure that these fans can join with us to send an unequivocal message to the UCI and its officers that the current approach is simply not good enough.”
A press conference will be held in London immediately after the summit concludes when the Change Cycling Now group will present details of their discussions and be available for interview.
Further announcements regarding the summit, including additional group members, will be made later this week.