Riders sense a cultural shift on doping

Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:14pm EDT
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By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) - Samuel Dumoulin read out a collective letter before the third stage of this year's Paris-Nice race in response to team mate Lloyd Mondory's failed dope test.

It declared that the whole Ag2r-La Mondiale team were "determined to advance, true to their values".

"We will not give up," the Frenchman said, surrounded by his team mates.

The scene was a sharp contrast to the peloton's strike at stage 17 of the 1998 Tour de France in the wake of the Festina affair -- suggesting a cultural shift is finally happening in scandal-ridden cycling.

"The solution is not to keep silent," the 34-year-old Dumoulin, who takes pride in "doing his job clean", told Reuters.

After a UCI-ordered Independent Commission's (CIRC) report into the sport's doping practices suggested cheating was less prevalent but still endemic, several riders offered a different viewpoint.

The CIRC report, which one team manager described to Reuters as "a literature review", interviewed 174 people but fewer than 10 of them were actual riders.

One of them, Dumoulin, has seen the "crazy years" and "the Lance Armstrong era" -- and he now believes that change is happening.   Continued...

Cofidis' cyclist Samuel Dumoulin of France celebrates his victory after crossing the finish line of the seventh and final stage of the Tour of Catalunya cycling race in Barcelona March 27, 2011.REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino