What is the « Year Zero » concept ?

After the Armstrong case, many of us felt the need to mobilize. Those who were not yet members found with MPCC a place to express themselves, leading to credible decision making. This is no philosophy. Everybody’s will is to look towards the future. Looking at the past is not our mission – we have nor the means neither the mandate – this is the role of police, courts, sports bodies, WADA… Our goal is to make cycling more credible in the months and years to come. Team managers are decision-makers in the sense that they have the means to act : suspend or lay off a rider, decide who to hire or not… National team managers can also make choices. We are talking about future, not past. Teams joining MPCC are committed in the eyes of the press, the sponsors, the federations… There is strength in numbers. The growing number of members is significant, and the starting point is 2013, January 1st. Whatever happened before is outside of the scope of MPCC, even though it is important to underline that some teams have been complying with MPCC rules for 6 years. We now expect less positive cases, cheaters fearing to be laid off, to not be able to find work. At least with MPCC teams : that’s the difference. Joining MPCC is a commitment to all, in complete transparency. This is why I think that everybody will stand by his word. It has been the case since the beginning of the year. The best evidence is the testing for steroids that went well during Paris-Nice.

What would you say to those criticizing the fact that teams with a shady past join the MPCC ?

We are no court, and we don’t intend to be. We have no judicial power and membership can be granted to those wishing to. Past issues belong in the past, even though the teams may have to answer for it with the relevant authorities. But if new matters arise this year and after, they will be accountable to MPCC, the press, the public, the sponsors… Today, on their good faith, we want to welcome them to MPCC : « Join us and abide by harder rules ». MPCC is meant to have teams joining to comply with a strong commitment, not rejecting these teams. Our goal is to complement the role of WADA, whom we called to implement more severe sanctions when the use of « heavy » products is proved. Most people in cycling advocate longer suspension periods. As for MPCC teams in probatory period, they have one year to be in compliance with MPCC standards.

What do you expect exactly from these teams ?

That they respect the commitment made: team managers gave their word in front of everybody, at the general assembly. If one team’s conduct is improper, all MPCC members will have the right to say: « You have damaged our image ». We have a genuine legitimacy, as our movement relies on very specific items: a set of regulations, a strong commitment… Testing positive is concrete, but a layoff due to this positive control is also concrete. Today, MPCC proposes very concrete measures.

Can we imagine that all teams join MPCC?

Let’s imagine it’s the case: everybody would have to comply with the same rules. It would be better for cycling’s credibility that all teams follow harder rules. The more members the better. Before 2013, January 1st, we were said to have too few members, and today, they are four times the number of teams. Institutional sponsors as LCL and PMU – historical Tour de France sponsors – also have a voice at the General Assembly of MPCC. Federations also can attend our meetings. This is game-changing and improves the credibility of our movement.