The Italian team holds the record for the greatest number of doping cases over the last decade. Despite a new scandal – the second in the last 12 months, the team expects to attend the next Giro. MPCC condemns the serious damage this affair causes to the image of cycling.

Whatever the amount of resources allocated to the fight against doping, some riders will still choose to cheat. Though, this simple observation is not a thread for the credibility of cycling. However, when these events occur multiple times, year after year, within the same team, and when the institutions fail to break the cycle, it represents a terrible blow to the credibility of cycling.

Team Vini-Zabù gave us a striking example this week, as one of their riders was provisionally suspended by the UCI for assumed doping (EPO). Of course, as the process is still ongoing, we should remain cautious while we wait for the results of the second sample. Though, the previous cases are not cause for optimism. The latest cases happened less than a year ago.

This Italian team, which appeared within the peloton in 2009, has been subject to 9 doping cases in the last twelve years. The incriminated substances are always the same heavy well-known products (5 EPO cases, 2 growth hormones cases, 1 Clenbuterol case, 1 Ostarine case).

MPCC recalls that team Vini-Zabù belonged to the movement for a short time in 2014. Shortly after, despite two doping cases in less than a year, the team decided it was not relevant to commit to the rules of the movement, the same ones that all our members abide by. We immediately suspended the team and decided to exclude it from the movement during the General Assembly of October 2015.

Since its creation in 2007, MPCC set up a principle that we called today “the voluntary introspection” when a team faces several doping cases in a short period of time. Fourteen years later, this principle remains the same: team members commit to stop the activity of all their riders for 8 days or a whole month, depending on whether it faces a second doping case in 12 months, or a third case in 24 months.

In 2016, this MPCC precept even ended up convincing UCI to tighten its own rules as its anti-doping rules now include the opening of a proceeding that could lead to a 15-day or 45-day suspension of a team when two doping cases occur in a period of 12 months.

If UCI deems so, there is a genuine risk for Vini-Zabù to miss out on the Giro, a race for which it received a wild car again. Since 2009, the team is managed by the same people, Angelo Citracca and Luca Scinto. They were already in charge when each of the 9 proceedings were opened against the italian team. Yet, some organizers still trust them.

This new case is another element to support our statement given during our General Assembly of last March 2nd ; our movement was surprised that the Giro d’Italia awarded a Wild Card to a team that suffered a positive test during the last edition. Out of the nine cases involving Vini-Zabù riders, four of them were directly related to the Giro, which seems to not hold any grudge as it still granted 11 Wild Cards to the team in the last 13 years.

MPCC reacts strongly today as the members of it Board deem relevant to defend the integrity of its members (teams and riders) and support their voluntary choice to restore the image of cycling by committing to stricter rules. Our movement deeply regrets that RCS group still does not seem important to react nor give any explanation regarding its choices. As they face yet another doping proceeding, we hope that RCS will take responsibility for the future, even though the Italian organizers already held all the cards to do so after the Giro 2020.

For all these reasons, MPCC calls for all the teams, riders and organizers to join our movement.