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Last Updated: Friday, 6 July 2007, 16:48 GMT 17:48 UK
Riders back anti-doping charter
The International Cycling Union (UCI) has confirmed that all the riders on the start list for the Tour de France have signed its anti-doping charter.

But UCI president Pat McQuaid has said that he now wants all cycling team members to sign the charter.

After a string of scandals, race organisers requested DNA samples from riders and asked teams to sign a pre-Tour anti-drugs pledge.

The Tour starts in London on Saturday, 7 July and ends in Paris 22 days later.

Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme had stressed that any rider who had not signed the charter by Saturday would be excluded from this year's race.

McQuaid said: "In the past weeks, we have concentrated on the riders but as of next week, all the teams will be asked to do the same.

"It's for all the team's personnel, the manager, the doctor and the mechanics. The wording is slightly different.

"They will have to say they are not involved in any doping practice or that they are unaware of any doping practice in the team."

With the on-going Operation Puerta doping investigation hanging over the sport, and with last year's Tour winner Floyd Landis awaiting the result of his own prolonged case, organisers are desperate to crack down on drugs in the sport.

As well as giving DNA samples, the charter stipulates all riders must lodge a year's salary, which will be forfeited if they are convicted of any doping charges.

Meanwhile, the number one bib, usually worn by the defending champion has not been awarded for this year's race.

The numbering will now start with bib 11, which is to be given to a rider from the Caisse d'Epargne team.

It will be worn either by 2006 runner-up Oscar Pereiro of Spain or by compatriot Alejandro Valverde.

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