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Last Updated: Saturday, 31 January, 2004, 13:21 GMT
Cycling to sign drugs code
UCI chief Hein Verbruggen
Verbruggen hailed relations between the UCI and Wada
World cycling chiefs have announced they are set to sign up to the World Anti Doping Agency's code of conduct.

All international sports federations must adhere to Wada's code if they want to participate at future Olympics.

Hein Verbruggen, president of the International Cycling Union (UCI), had until recently seemed reluctant to subscribe to Wada's ruling.

Verbruggen still insists key issues, including the length of bans, must be addressed before cycling will commit.

"There is no doubt that we are going to sign up to the code ahead of the Olympic Games," said Verbruggen, before highlighting his concerns.

"The principle of a two-year ban in itself is not a problem. It's one of the cornerstones of our own rules.

"The problem is that it will be virtually impossible to reduce the ban if it has been [wrongly] exaggerated.

"The [Wada] code does not allow for proportionality, and that's difficult for us to accept - first of all because it's not fair and secondly because it will be disputed in the courts.

"If for example you take EPO, it will be a two-year ban. But if you have one milligram too much of nandrolone, it will also be two years."

The UCI's executive committee has drawn up plans for proportional sanctions.

In the past the UCI has been at loggerheads with Wada, but Verbruggen said both organisations were now in virtual harmony.

"Relations between the UCI and Wada are excellent," said Verbruggen, who was quick to add that the UCI's anti-doping code was one of the main sources for Wada's current code.

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26 Jan 04  |  Cycling
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24 Sep 03  |  Cycling

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