UCI bans drug cheats from team management

By the Associated Press | June 17, 2011 | 12:28 PM EDT

MAASTRICHT, Netherlands (AP) — Cycling's governing body has barred cyclists caught doping from working for a team after their racing careers are over.

The new rule announced Friday will take effect next month, but it won't be applied retroactively, according to the International Cycling Union management committee.

The rule stipulates that riders found guilty of infringing anti-doping rules can't be granted a license authorizing them "to take on a role in cycling as a member of a team's staff."

"The UCI Management Committee is fully aware of the difficulties that the adoption of such a measure could imply, but wishes to once again reconfirm its determination to take all steps possible to oppose any form of illegal practice in our sport," the UCI said in a statement at the end of its two-day meeting.

The rule will not affect the likes of Bjarne Riis, who admitted to doping during his 1996 Tour de France victory and now runs the Saxo Bank-Sungard team that includes reigning Tour champ Alberto Contador.

The UCI management committee also ratified a measure making the teams responsible for the costs generated by doping cases, which are currently supported by the UCI.

Also, the UCI ratified a proposal from the Professional Cycling Council (PCC) that prevents drug cheats who have been banned for at least two years from earning UCI points with teams for another two years.

The measure is likely to discourage teams from hiring former dopers, as the UCI points system is used to determine what teams receive automatic invitations to the biggest races, including the three Grand Tours.

The management committee followed another PCC recommendation by approving the creation of transfer windows. For riders under contract, the window will be open from Aug. 1-15 while "inter-season" transfers will be possible from Aug. 1-Oct. 20 and Oct. 21-Dec. 31 for riders out of contracts.

The management committee's next meeting will be in Copenhagen during the road world championships in September.