UCI goes further; Italian champ positive; stagiaires

The UCI wants all the professional continental teams to sign its "Commitment to a new cycling", but will it be legally binding?

The UCI wants all the professional continental teams to sign its "Commitment to a new cycling", but will it be legally binding?

Also, Italian time trial champion Luca Ascani tests positive for EPO, and three teams announce their trainee riders for the rest of the season.

UCI asks pro continental teams to sign ethical charter

The UCI has asked the professional continental teams - the second tier of teams below the ProTour squads - to sign its "Commitment to a new cycling". The agreement is aimed at combating doping and has already been signed by most of the riders and staff in all 20 ProTour teams, along with a number of pro continental and continental outfits.

"By adding their signature, riders give their word of honour that they are not involved in the Puerto affair or in any other doping cases, and will not breach the UCI anti-doping rules," said UCI president Pat McQuaid in a statement. "They also declare to the Spanish authorities that they are willing to provide DNA samples for comparison with blood samples seized during the Puerto investigations. The riders also ask the Spanish authorities either to arrange for such tests to be carried out quickly, or to allow the UCI to arrange them."

The charter also asks team managers "not to encourage ... and not to turn a blind eye" to doping in their teams.

Perhaps the most controversial demand is that signatories will hand over a year's salary to the UCI "should they fail to keep their commitment" to the charter. Given that Alexandre Vinokourov, Iban Mayo, Patrik Sinkewitz and Cristian Moreni have all signed the document, and have all tested positive for doping, it remains to be seen how enforceable the salary fine is.

Finally, the UCI asked pro continental teams "not to sign up any riders who have been dropped by UCI ProTour teams because of their involvement in doping."

Click here for the full list of signatories to the UCI charter.

Italian TT champion positive

The winner of this year's Italian time trial championships, Luca Ascani (Aurum Hotels), tested positive for EPO after the event according to the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI).

Ascani's 'A' sample showed traces of the banned blood boosting drug. The test was taken on June 26th. If Ascani's B sample is also positive, or he doesn't ask for it, then T-Mobile's Marco Pinotti will be awarded the Italian championship.

Ascani's team, Aurum Hotels, has been suspended by the Italian Cycling Federation because of financial problems.

Stagiaires for Saunier Duval, T-Mobile and Lampre

Three ProTour teams have announced their stagiaires (trainees) for the remainder of the 2007 season.

Saunier Duval has taken on Swiss rider Danilo Wyss (21) from the Atlas-Romer´s Hausbäckerei Continental Team, Spaniards Rafa Serrano (20) and Héctor González (21) from the Saunier Duval Under 23 Team. González also has a contract with the Saunier Duval pro team for next season.

T-Mobile will include 20 year-old Briton Ian Stannard, a graduate of the T-Mobile development program, in their team for the rest of the season. Stannard is currently riding the Tour of Denmark with the team. Dutchman Marcel Beima (23) from the Time-Van Hemert team and Russian Andrey Klyuev (20), who has spent the last two years competing for the Russian teams, Moscow Stars and Omnibike Dynamo Moscow, are T-Mobile's other two trainees.

Lampre will be trialling three Italians: Marco Bandiera (Zalf Fior), Maurizio Girardini (Unidelta Bottoli) and Leonardo Pinizzotto (GS Mastromarco). All three are rouleur/sprinter types.

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