UCI pressure group set to meet in London in bid to force change
Last Updated: 27/11/12 4:21pm
Pat McQuaid (right): Under pressure from new group
A pressure group formed to try to force change on world cycling's governing body, the UCI, will meet for the first time in London this weekend.
The Change Cycling Now (CCN) group is made up of former professional cyclists, world renowned doping experts and campaigning international journalists.
CCN are holding the UCI to account for what they claim to be damage caused to the sport's profile following the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.
The Texan was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after an investigation by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) found him guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs.
The UCI ratified the sanctions recommended by USADA but were nevertheless criticised for their handling of the affair.
According to the CCN, their meeting in London will "discuss a roadmap for global change, including the requirement for a fundamental shift in cycling's world governance and the implementation of independent anti-doping controls".
Among those who will be in attendance on Sunday will be one of the world's foremost blood doping experts Michael Ashenden and professor Antoine Vayer, a former cycling trainer, who attended the famous Festina doping trial in 2000 as a professional expert and morality witness.
The media will be represented by freelancer Paul Kimmage and David Walsh, chief sports writer for the Sunday Times and author of four books on Armstrong.
Travis Tygart, the chief executive of (USADA), has accepted an invitation to address the meeting.
CCN has been co-ordinated by Australian Jaimie Fuller, chairman of clothing company Skins.
Skins has ploughed around 10million US dollars into the UCI over the last five years but recently served them with a legal notice claiming 2million dollars (£1.25m) in compensation after claiming their actions have caused reputational damage to sponsors.
Fuller said: "The creation of Change Cycling Now reflects the frustration and anger that I, and many people directly involved in the sport, feel towards the UCI and their management practices.
"I believe we have put together a very strong core group which represents the feelings of thousands of people within the sport who want to see definite change.
"It would be easy to sit around and criticise and accuse, but we shall be discussing positive ways to effect the future with changes that can move us back towards a sport that has integrity and is also clean and credible."