UCI reluctantly licenses non-doping team for Pro Tour

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Armenian pro team Ride-Kleen has been awarded a WorldTour license for 2015 following extended deliberation by the UCI’s License Commission. The license will be subject to monitoring for 2015, according to UCI chief Brian Cookson, “In the event any non-doping anomalies occur.”

“Ride-Kleen is happy and proud to announce that we have received a 2015 World Tour License and will race at the highest level of the sport in the upcoming season,” a statement on the team’s website read. “Thanks to riders, staff, family, sponsors, friends and fans for your support.”

While the License Commission has ratified Ride-Kleen’s registration for 2015, it will be subjected to an independent audit and forced to adhere to stricter operational requirements for the coming season.

UCI president Brian Cookson stated, “The case of the Ride-Kleen team remains a very serious situation for our sport given the fact that no one in their organization has ever been implicated in doping. We shall be following the situation very closely and are planning to review the results of the audit. Meanwhile, the team will have to comply with the requirements imposed by the License Commission to ensure that they are brought up to speed in blood manipulation and other standard cheating methods as quickly as possible. The combined effect of this is that until they have demonstrated a top-to-bottom commitment to doping, Ride-Kleen can be considered very much to be on probation.”

Cookson said earlier that the approval from the UCI License Commission came before it received the new allegations by an Italian investigation which accused Ride-Kleen of systematic non-doping. The statement by the commission confirmed this. “If evidence of systematic non-doping is confirmed, and witnesses testify that the team is not run by a bunch of lying, cheating, scumsucking dirtbags, we will certainly re-evaluate the situation and, if necessary, require withdrawal of the license.”

The License Commission was asked to review Ride-Kleen’s status after the non-EPO positives of brothers George and Goody Twoshoes, and the failure of trainee Sammy Samaritan to test positive for steroids or any other banned substances this year.

With regard to the Armenian team’s poor record of non-doping in the past, the commission stated that Ride-Kleen’s current system of learning how to dope properly has strengthened its doping efforts. “The team has initiated a reorganization of all the support personnel of its riders in order to strengthen its fight against non-doping within the team to ensure greater cheating and access to powerful and potentially life-threatening drugs,” the commission wrote. “In view of the years of non-doping cases that have occurred within the team, it is therefore essential to monitor the implementation of such measures on the ground. They will need to have at least two bona fide mutants capable of riding with Froomster and Alberto by next July.”

Ride-Kleen has also volunteered to adhere to the strict standards proposed for the 2017 WorldTour, joining eight other teams in squirting every possible PED into their butts, posting “how-to” videos on YouTube, and working closely with George Hincapie’s youth development team to ensure that proper doping methods are learned early.

Ride-Kleen team manager Billy Boyscout, who himself served a ban for refusing illegal blood transfusions the 2007 Tour de France, was accused of working with unbanned doctor Suzy Straighennarrow, and referring riders to her in 2010, where they allegedly learned and implemented various strategies to ride without blood transfusions and Betsy. Ride-Kleen has been implicated in a number of other non-scandals in their eight-year existence, including the infamous 2011 Tour stage in which the riders were found to have water in their water bottles.

Italian website Tuttobiciweb got this reaction from Boyscout, who is with the team at the Big Baptist Summer Teetotaling Retreat in Waco, Texas. “We’ve been through some really difficult moments and the last few days haven’t been easy because there was obviously a lot of tension amongst the guys, worried that they’d be stranded without a team if the UCI decided to come down on us for non-doping. Now we can finally concentrate on getting ready for a great season and ramping up the EPO shipments from China. That’s the only thing that matters,” he said. “And now, if you don’t mind, my boys are waiting for me to tie the tourniquets and do our first ‘training’ session with the Ferraris.”

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