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Anti-doping pledge introduced by cyclists

June 19, 2007 at 4:45 PM

GENEVA, Switzerland, June 19 (UPI) -- The International Cycling Union will ask riders sign to a declaration that they aren't using performance-enhancing drugs in this year's Tour de France.

Cycling has been sullied by a series of admissions to doping in recent weeks by top riders, including 1996 Tour de France winner Bjarne Riis. The victory in last year's premier cycling event by American Floyd Landis has also been questioned by doping allegations.

The UCI announced its "Riders' Commitment to a New Cycling" at a news conference in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday. Cyclists Mark Cavendish and Sandy Casar signed the pledge at the news conference.

Cyclists cannot be forced to sign the document but those who do will have their names published on the UCI Web site.

By signing, cyclists confirm they aren't using performance-enhancing drugs and were not part of the May 2006 "Operation Puerto" scandal that implicated 58 cyclists.

If, after signing the declaration, a cyclist is found in violation of doping rules, he would be banned for two years and fined an amount equal to their 2007 salary, the UCI said.

The Tour de France runs July 7-29.

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