• Cycling

UCI to set up doping hotline for riders

ESPN staff
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UCI president Pat McQuaid is taking measures to restore public faith in professional cycling © Getty Images
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The UCI will set up a confidential hotline for riders to contact it about doping issues in a bid to re-establish trust between the organisation, its athletes and the public in the wake of the Lance Armstrong investigation.

In an email to its members, UCI president Pat McQuaid insisted that cycling was "cleaner that ever before" but wanted to be more responsive to the concerns of the peloton.

The UCI wants to be "as accessible as possible, and in particular to you the riders, should you wish to discuss issues or concerns relating to doping," McQuaid wrote.

"That is why, during the coming weeks, also after a small time frame to set up the logistical side, the UCI will be looking into establishing a new open line - a confidential 'hotline'."

Cycling's governing body has come in for criticism for not acting on the accusations of whistleblowers in the past, but McQuaid rejected this. "I would like to take this opportunity to assure you that the UCI did act on information provided in the past and it will always do so in the future, within the bounds of what is legally feasible."

And while McQuaid reminded riders that a general amnesty for previous transgressions was currently not an option, "the current review of the World Anti-Doping Code may provide different possibilities in the future. The rules do currently allow reduced penalties. We are aware, and doing the utmost to address your proposals/needs in the effort to do the best by our sport."

The independent commission panel's report into the fallout from the Armstrong affair is due on June 1 2013, but the UCI will continue to work on restoring the credibility of the sport in the meantime, McQuaid continued.

"I know that it will take some time to build trust and confidence in this new line of communication, but I am confident that, with the best intentions from both sides, we can build that trust," McQuaid added. "And by doing so, we will accelerate the change in culture that we need in our sport."

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