The Tour de France won't accept riders who refuse to sign the UCI's new anti-doping charter. UCI president Pat McQuaid said Tuesday: "The line has definitely been drawn in the sand. We'll have no more rampant doping."
If Mr. McQuaid thinks signing this charter will end doping, I'm afraid I'll have to ask him to submit a sample to LNDD to make sure he's not on something. If the key elements of the pledge are submitting DNA samples and having riders to pay a year's salary along with a two-year ban if found guilty of doping, then it's going to be more of the same, only now with higher penalties. And why should the riders sign this pledge if it is optional? They get nothing in return. No matter what you may think of Floyd Landis, we will never know if he doped. His privacy was violated when his 'A' sample results were leaked to the press and the lab that tested both his 'A' and 'B' samples(!) was shown to be less than fully competent (there were issues with at least how they operated the equipment and with the sample chain of custody.) In addition, it was shown that the lab knew it was testing his 'B' samples to confirm their own 'A' sample results. His defense has bankrupted him (or nearly so). And the entire process of testing the athletes has created an atmosphere of mistrust. Where are the protections for the riders?
If the UCI wants to clean up cycling, there's far more work for them to do.