Tour: calls for doping summit


Summary

Spaniard Alberto Contador is leading the Tour de France, with Australia's Cadel Evans second, as calls grow for tougher action against doping.

南宁桑拿

In the 17th stage, Daniele Bennati of Italy collected his first Tour stage victory in a sprint ahead of a small group of breakaway riders.

Tour de France: Latest news, photos

Germany's Markus Fothen was second and Swiss rider Martin Elmiger third.

Spanish rider Alberto Contador of the Discovery Channel team took the overall lead a day after the Rabobank team sent home former yellow jersey-wearer Michael Rasmussen for lying and missing drug tests.

Australia's Cadel Evans is overall second, behind by 1:53, while his Discovery teammate Levi Leipheimer of the United States, is third, 2:49 back.

Doping crisis

Meanwhile, world anti-doping body, WADA, has upped the stakes in the Tour de France's battle to save its damaged image by calling for a summit on the doping crisis.

WADA president Dick Pound admitted he was concerned by developments in the Tour this week which saw yellow jersey wearer Michael Rasmussen axed from the race and long-time favourite Alexandre Vinokourov fail a test for blood doping.

Now, WADA has offered to convene a high-level summit of all parties involved in cycling to have an in-depth discussion on how to deal with the problem of doping in the sport.

"Without commenting on the specifics of pending cases, WADA is deeply concerned by the multiplication of doping cases and affairs in cycling," Mr Pound said.

"Even recent initiatives taken by cycling authorities, such as a pledge against doping and increased pressure, are obviously insufficient to deter some riders from cheating. We need to hold such a meeting urgently to see what more can be done to restore the credibility and integrity of cycling."

Summit idea rejected

However, later Thursday the International Cycling Union (UCI) refused the idea of participating in the summit adding that the process was a "masquerade."

A statement said they were ready to "discuss and share their experience with all neutral decision-making bodies and are willing to bring improvements to the struggle against doping, in an constructive way under acceptable conditions."

WADA said that an invitation to the summit will also be extended to all other parties involved in cycling – organisers, professional cyclists, team members (including doctors, leaders, and other members of the entourage), and other individuals or organizations involved in the sport such as sponsors and broadcasters.

Selected members of the anti-doping community, with expertise and experience in cycling, would also be consulted.

"WADA will officially contact the parties involved in the next few days to offer to hold this summit," said WADA director general, David Howman.

"Because WADA is an independent international body and has a structure which is an equal partnership between the sports movement and governments of the world, we are uniquely positioned to coordinate the fight against doping and bring together the strengths and resources of all of these partners involved.

"We are willing to further assist cycling in finding solutions to the doping issue."

Riders will get another mostly flat ride later today across a 211-km course from Cahors to Angouleme, before a time trial on Saturday and Sunday's ride to the finish in Paris.


Spaniard Alberto Contador is leading the Tour de France, with Australia's Cadel Evans second, as calls grow for tougher action against doping.

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In the 17th stage, Daniele Bennati of Italy collected his first Tour stage victory in a sprint ahead of a small group of breakaway riders.

Tour de France: Latest news, photos

Germany's Markus Fothen was second and Swiss rider Martin Elmiger third.

Spanish rider Alberto Contador of the Discovery Channel team took the overall lead a day after the Rabobank team sent home former yellow jersey-wearer Michael Rasmussen for lying and missing drug tests.

Australia's Cadel Evans is overall second, behind by 1:53, while his Discovery teammate Levi Leipheimer of the United States, is third, 2:49 back.

Doping crisis

Meanwhile, world anti-doping body, WADA, has upped the stakes in the Tour de France's battle to save its damaged image by calling for a summit on the doping crisis.

WADA president Dick Pound admitted he was concerned by developments in the Tour this week which saw yellow jersey wearer Michael Rasmussen axed from the race and long-time favourite Alexandre Vinokourov fail a test for blood doping.

Now, WADA has offered to convene a high-level summit of all parties involved in cycling to have an in-depth discussion on how to deal with the problem of doping in the sport.

"Without commenting on the specifics of pending cases, WADA is deeply concerned by the multiplication of doping cases and affairs in cycling," Mr Pound said.

"Even recent initiatives taken by cycling authorities, such as a pledge against doping and increased pressure, are obviously insufficient to deter some riders from cheating. We need to hold such a meeting urgently to see what more can be done to restore the credibility and integrity of cycling."

Summit idea rejected

However, later Thursday the International Cycling Union (UCI) refused the idea of participating in the summit adding that the process was a "masquerade."

A statement said they were ready to "discuss and share their experience with all neutral decision-making bodies and are willing to bring improvements to the struggle against doping, in an constructive way under acceptable conditions."

WADA said that an invitation to the summit will also be extended to all other parties involved in cycling – organisers, professional cyclists, team members (including doctors, leaders, and other members of the entourage), and other individuals or organizations involved in the sport such as sponsors and broadcasters.

Selected members of the anti-doping community, with expertise and experience in cycling, would also be consulted.

"WADA will officially contact the parties involved in the next few days to offer to hold this summit," said WADA director general, David Howman.

"Because WADA is an independent international body and has a structure which is an equal partnership between the sports movement and governments of the world, we are uniquely positioned to coordinate the fight against doping and bring together the strengths and resources of all of these partners involved.

"We are willing to further assist cycling in finding solutions to the doping issue."

Riders will get another mostly flat ride later today across a 211-km course from Cahors to Angouleme, before a time trial on Saturday and Sunday's ride to the finish in Paris.