Russian WorldTour team Katusha has announced it would leave the voluntary Mouvement Pour Un Cyclisme Crédible (MPCC) with immediate effect.
The Russian team citing a discrepancy between the UCI, the world governing body of cycling, and the MPCC, the voluntary anti-doping organization of professional teams, opted out of its membership as it would have to face a voluntary, rather than mandated, team suspension. Katusha stated that it had no other choice but to leave the MPCC with immediate effect as self-suspension from WorldTour events would violate regulation of mandatory participation at WorldTour events of the UCI.
Under MPCC regulations, teams that have had more than one positive test must step back voluntarily from competition for a period of time. Under the rules, two positive tests equal to one week on the sidelines, three positive tests equal to four weeks, and four positives equal to a sanction of five weeks.
In an official statement, Katusha said the team decided in 2013 to become a member of the association Movement for a Credible Cycling (MPCC). It was further added that the cycling world at that time needed to send a strong message in favor of a clean sport after a succession of doping scandals and added all the members of the MPCC decided to adopt supplementary and stricter rules in addition to the WADA Code and the UCI Regulations. The statement further reads that all members of the MPCC decided to adopt supplementary and stricter rules in addition to the WADA Code and the UCI Regulations. The Team Katusha statement added the UCI in the course of the years have adopted some of the MPCC rules such as the no-needles policy or the collective sanction against teams in case of multiple doping offenses, demonstrating MPCC’s usefulness as a pioneer in professional cycling.
The statement said Team Katusha is now facing a very difficult position as on the one hand the Disciplinary Commission of the UCI decided not to impose any team suspension following the cases of Luca Paolini (positive test for cocaine, Paolini also revealed an addiction to sleeping tablets) and Eduard Vorganov (A-sample positive for Meldonium) but on the other hand the MPCC still considers that a suspension is necessary in application of its own rules. It was further added that moreover a suspension of Team Katusha during a WorldTour race based on the MPCC Rules would violate the UCI Regulations of mandatory participation and the Disciplinary Commission would then be obliged to sanction the Team.
Earlier, it was announced by Australian team Orica-GreenEdge that it was leaving the MPC. The team stated that rules of the UCI are sufficient. With the two teams pulling out of the MPCC, only seven of 18 WorldTour teams now remain in the MPCC: AG2R, Cannondale, Dimension Data, FDJ, Giant-Alpecin, IAM Cycling, and Lotto-Soudal. Previously, Astana, LottoNL-Jumbo, and Lampre-Merida were a part of the MPCC but later abandoned it.
The MPCC holds some level of power over Pro Continental teams but it was agreed by the Association Internationale des Organisateurs de Courses Cyclistes (AIOCC) that members of MPCC will be given priority on wildcard invitations to their events.