Senior UCI officials should resign, says ASO chief

Updated: July 28, 2007, 8:43 AM ET
Reuters

By Julien Pretot

COGNAC, France, July 28 - The International Cycling Union's (UCI) senior officials should resign, Tour de France organisers' president Patrice Clerc said on Saturday.

"In such a case, there should be no other choice than to resign," the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) chief told a news conference, referring to Michael Rasmussen being allowed to start the Tour despite contravening the UCI's own rules.

Denmark's Rasmussen was overall leader when he was sacked by his Rabobank team for lying about his training whereabouts.

The twice polka dot jersey winner had received two recorded warnings from the UCI for failing to provide the sport's governing body with his personal schedule.

Under UCI regulations, Rasmussen should not have taken part in the Tour because he had received a recorded warning within 45 days of the start of the race.

He received his second warning on June 29, just eight days before the Tour's Grand Depart in London.

UCI president Pat McQuaid said on Thursday that at its next meeting the governing body would delete the article which states: "...a rider who has received a recorded warning...in a period of 45 days before the start of a major Tour.. will not be allowed to participate in that Tour".

McQuaid added that the regulation was "too harsh".

But Clerc said: "I have talked to some riders, who believe that deleting that article would be catastrophic as it is a very good way to fight against doping".

ASO and the UCI have been at odds since 2005 when the Tour de France organisers refused, with their counterparts at the Tour of Spain and Giro d'Italia, to be part of the UCI Pro-Tour.

Clerc said the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was the most competent body to fight against doping in the sport.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index

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