Pavel Padrnos and Stefano Zanini ride on, but the Tour organsation is threatening the UCI over their
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE The Professional Cycling Council (PCC) has backed the decision made by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) to allow US Postal’s Pavel Padrnos and Quick Step’s Stefano Zanini to continue in the Tour de France despite the race organisation’s desire to eject the pair because of their involvement in an Italian doping inquiry. The decision has provoked anger within ASO, organisers of the Tour, who have threatened non-cooperation with the UCI over the introduction of next season’s Pro Tour. According to PCC president Vittorio Adorni, the decision to allow the pair to stay in the Tour despite the previous ejections of Martin Hvastija and Stefano Casagranda, who are involved in the same inquiry, was taken because the cases of Padrnos and Zanini are different to Hvastija and Casagranda’s. According to the UCI, Zanini has been cleared by the Court for Arbitration in Sport of any wrongdoing in the San Remo doping blitz at the 2001 Giro d’Italia, while Padrnos’ case has been dismissed by the Czech federation because the products found in his room were not on the banned list. ASO president Patrice Clerc, who appears to have been hung out to dry by the UCI over this issue, said he would do all he could to patch up the disagreement with the UCI as quickly as possible. However, he hinted that ASO are prepared to go a long way to show their displeasure, even to the point of not cooperating with the UCI’s planned introduction of the Pro Tour next season. “This issue has to be clarified in the next few weeks or ASO will not take part in the reorganisation of cycling,” Clerc commented.