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What happened to that initiative?

What happened to the organization of cycling teams with focus on a clean and fair sport? I can hardly google anything about it. It was - among other things - interesting because certain teams stayed out of it, including Jumbo-Visma, UAE and Ineos (as far as I remember).
Are you talking about MPCC?
If that's the case it still exists. This is the website: https://www.mpcc.fr/en/home/
Half of the WT teams (and the majority PCT teams) are still part of it. Ineos, Jumbo and UAE are not.
 
Reminds me of something I saw before the Tour:


I mean, obviously plenty of other factors but still an interesting graph to say the least...

Edit: Just the picture for those that can't see twitter:

F0IixWWWcBcEd_p


Teams in light green are part of MPCC.
 
Are you talking about MPCC?
If that's the case it still exists. This is the website: https://www.mpcc.fr/en/home/
Half of the WT teams (and the majority PCT teams) are still part of it. Ineos, Jumbo and UAE are not.

Thanks!

I haven't heard MPCC mentioned a single time in the coverage of cycling onTV this year.

As I remember it, the majority of the teams joined the initiative when it started. Currently, only 30 percent of the Tour peloton are part of it, according to their website.

Not many current top 10 riders in the Tour are participating.
 
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Going by their website, they do enjoy larger membership with Pro Teams (83% of them) so I suppose they're still relevant though they lag with Conti and Women's teams.

By their history, it was created in 2007 by a group of mostly French teams, they had an important afflux of new members after Rabobank scuttled themselves out of the sport.

Interestingly they did try to enforce decisions on teams, like not putting riders with suspect values on the TdF rosters (notably forcing Astana out of the movement after they refused) but the Wikipedia summary basically stops at 2016-2017, leaving the impression that whatever they do now it's either less vocal or has less reach.

IIRC and someone mentioned it in another thread recently, 2018 is the year ASO clearly shifted their performative focus and support away from those high profile anti doping efforts. Maybe because the end of the Froome era was considered a reset of some sort ?
 
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That was probably all just for show, if it were going on at one point.

"We even test our own riders", that is just PR to fool a larger audience.
Edit: apologies to Salvarani here, this kind of grew into a much longer editorial piece, it isn't all intended as a response to their post.

"I am clean and have been controlled 22 times this season (my note: this interview took place during the Giro). Seven of those controls came from within my own team. I am controlled by five different entities - WADA, NADA (my note: the national testing authority, in this case the German), the UCI, the Swiss Cycling Federation and PWC (my note: an independent German testing company, similar to AFLD). At the Giro, there are only four teams with a tight control system: Slipstream, High Road, CSC and Astana. Rebellin and Riccò? I don't know how often they have controls like me. I don't even want to talk about the team of Priamo."

This quote was given by Andreas Klöden to Gazzetta dello Sport in May 2008. There's a lot to unpack and I think it's a really interesting and illustrative quote, that shows both how much the pros know what's going on, and also tries to sell snake oil from at least two angles.

Firstly, we know full well that Klöden has shady past of his own, and at that point he had been under investigation for doping in the Freiburg Clinic saga, but had paid to make the investigation go away. The next thing to unpick about it is the four teams that Klöden expressly points out have internal controls. Remember that this is the Astana team that is in reality more a continuation of Discovery Channel than the Liberty Seguros team that it initially inherited, and Vino and Kash are suspended at the time this interview is given. Of the four teams, two are US-registered (High Road is however the former T-Mobile team, natch), one is US-sponsored and the last, his own team, is a continuation of a US-registered and sponsored team. They make up the sum total of teams in the race with direct US interests and all but one (Barloworld being the other) of the teams in the race with English as the primary language of communication. It feels like this was very much a PR line that was needed to be fed to the American audience that could have been disillusioned by the loss of Armstrong and the suspension of Landis and I think this narrative was a hangover from the Armstrong days, this need to push the agenda that cycling had changed despite the old guard still being prominent therein, which we saw for years to come from the likes of Vaughters and Bob Stapleton. But I don't think this was something about those teams being Anglo, but more about them being representative of younger cycling markets. Places like Belgium, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Spain, they've been through the ringer like this many times and while audiences will fluctuate, they are traditional cycling markets and more than likely will still remain. The US at the time - and Germany to a lesser extent - was a younger audience that was at risk and so a message that the sport could be trusted - or at least the guys they were most familiar with or could best identify with could be trusted - was a necessary, if inelegant, way to try to bargain with that audience to be patient with the sport and continue to support it.

Even if we take at face value, these four teams have internal controls and the other teams do not... those four teams won all three Grand Tours that year, and with the emergences of the likes of Cavendish they also won a huge number of stages. And of those four teams' riders at the 2008 Giro? Astana have António Colom and Maxim Iglinsky who've tested positive for obvious doping substances (EPO), Contador who has tested positive for other doping substances, Klöden himself who has been involved in an investigation, Leipheimer who was retroactively removed from eight years of results for doping, and Gusev who would later flag biopassport irregularities. High Road have Kanstantsin Siutsou who would test positive for EPO and Morris Possoni who'd be run out of the sport after the Padova Investigation. Slipstream have Ryder Hesjedal who has admitted EPO use, David Millar who'd already been suspended, and Christian Vande Velde and Dave Zabriskie, both of whom would serve late-career suspensions for their doping involvement earlier in their careers. And CSC had Nicki Sørensen and Stuart O'Grady who have both admitted post-career to doping (the latter expressly admitting EPO usage).

And that's just the riders that were at the 2008 Giro d'Italia with Klöden. Elsewhere on those squads you have Janež Brajkovič, Thomas Frei, Chris Horner, Serguei Ivanov and Benoît Joachim on Astana (plus Paulinho who was cleared in Puerto); on High Road/Columbia that season you have Michael Barry, George Hincapie, Andreas Klier (self-admitted), Servais Knaven and Mick Freaking Rogers; on Slipstream there's also Tom Danielson, plus there's the whole fuss about Trent Lowe and del Moral in 2011. And finally, on CSC there's Volodymyr Gustov, Bobby Julich, Aleksandr Kolobnev, Karsten Kroon (self-admitted), Fränk Schleck, and investigated but not sanctioned, Jakob Fuglsang. That means, across the four teams who were putting themselves out there as the ones you could trust, 14 of their 36 riders at the 2008 Giro were past, present or future dopers. And across their full squads, a total of 32 to have been investigated or sanctioned directly, and a further one involved in a scandal that resulted in the firing of team staff for involvement with doping doctors.

And yet... look at Klöden's quote again. He starts off by framing himself as innocent and pointing at certain teams you can trust - but then he switches gear and starts talking about the people you can't trust. And we can perhaps look at those riders that he picks out, and why. Now, Riccardo Riccò is an obvious call. He finished 2nd in the 2008 Giro d'Italia and had won two stages before this interview took place. But Rebellin hadn't been all that prominent - he'd finished third in two stages but wasn't GC-relevant. So why pick on him in particular? It's an interesting question really. However, Klöden had to have had good reason, as his spidey-sense was clearly tingling. And obviously we also know Riccardo Riccò was one of those guys who was just not subtle enough; riding like he was in the Tour after riding like he did in the Giro just stood out like a sore thumb, and the CERA test being introduced clandestinely killed him off - but most notably, when said test was introduced in July, the two teams who were most heavily impacted at the Tour were Saunier Duval (Riccò's team), who saw Piepoli and Riccò bounced for doping and withdrew en masse... and Gerolsteiner (Rebellin's team), who didn't get thrown out mid-race but did get retrospective DQs for Stefan Schumacher and Bernhard Kohl.

Gerolsteiner were, in fact, pretty horrible in the 2008 Giro, with only two riders finishing, Rebellin, Gatto, Förster and Ordowski all leaving the race on the penultimate weekend and then Fothen being eliminated hors délais in the Kronplatz TT. They'd also just taken 26-year-old neopro Francesco de Bonis off the road after a ridiculous stage win in Romandie, so they may have had to tone it down a bit because they were flying a bit too close to the sun, at least Kohl's statements about the 2008 Tour would suggest this may have been the case. And of course, Saunier Duval also had a number of other riders whose histories are far from pristine at the time - Rubén Lobato, Juan José Cobo, Alberto Fernández de la Puebla, and even a young neo-pro named Raúl Alarcón.

But the most notable thing is the way Klöden, after suggesting four teams who do internal controls and two who do not (the proportion of known dopers per team in that Giro actually sees Astana with 6 out of 9 riders, only bested by LPR Brakes with 7), he mentions a team that is so obvious that he doesn't even want to talk about them: "the team of Priamo", which means Bruno Reverberi's group, or CSF-Navigare as they were at the time. CSF were, of course, all over that Giro, dominating the mountains, putting three men in mountain breaks of five, winning all the breakaway classifications and four stages of the race. Cipollini laughed at Reverberi on RAI and called him "Snow White" because his climbing-heavy team consisted of "seven dwarves". All this despite starting the race with only 8 riders because their sprinter, Max Richeze, failed a drugs test before the start of the race. So why "the team of Priamo"? Well, Matteo Priamo had won a stage that week, but it was a breakaway stage of unthreatening riders well down the GC. Not something that would have bothered Klöden. Why not "the team of Richeze", the guy that had failed a drugs test? Why not "the team of Sella", the guy going coast to coast in the GPM with more than double the points of any other rider? Why not "the team of Pozzovivo", who sat high up in the GC at least of realistic GC riders (at that point in the race Visconti was in pink with a break having been allowed several minutes in stage 5), especially since Sella lost time following a crash in week 1? Why "the team of Priamo"? What made Matteo Priamo, a rider who before that week had two stages of the Tour of Turkey and a stage of the Tour of Lorraine as his biggest wins, so notable?

Well, we found out a few months later. To the shock of nobody, at the end of July Emanuele Sella tested positive for CERA. The new test had been unveiled and CERA left a long, long trace in the blood, almost to the point where it became useless once the test was revealed because it would be detectable so long compared to regular old first generation EPO (which came back into vogue as a result). The guy that had won three mountain stages and been six seconds in an MTT away from trebling up despite having been in the break back to back days and doing long solo breakaways, fighting his way from 17 minutes down to 6th in the final GC, was doping? Perish the thought. But Sella was a talker. He only got one year's suspension because he cooperated with the authorities and he gave them the full details. And we swiftly learned why Andreas Klöden had picked on Matteo Priamo. He wasn't the most notorious rider on CSF, the most renowned, the most memorable or the most prominent. But he was the one that was supplying the CERA and passing it out to his teammates. Whether that was something Klöden picked up by intuition, by hearsay, by eavesdropping (intentionally or unintentionally) or if it was something well known in the péloton, that I can't profess to know. But something made Priamo more notable to Klöden when broaching the subject, and he was proven to be right in his suspicions. The CSF team would be quarantined for future years, and Sella, Priamo and Richeze would be suspended.

It certainly therefore feels like, if you look at Klöden's quote with a cynical eye (and in the Clinic, cynicism is the stock in trade of course), certainly it seems more that Klöden's eye was well-attuned to which teams weren't maintaining sufficient control of their riders, or which teams were being too reckless. The four teams he mentions may not all fall under the same bracket in terms of their intentions or their outcomes, but certainly in the case of Astana I would suspect that - especially bearing in mind this is a Johan Bruyneel team we are talking about - internal testing may look good to the novice fan, the neutral or the casual fan as an anti-doping measure, but this is more like the Rabobank Geert Leinders role of making sure the riders aren't tripping the wire when two thirds of your starting lineup are riders that we know now to have been doping at least at some point.

But, as I mentioned before, the thing about 2008 was that a combination of the secrecy around the CERA test and the changes in the sport since Armstrong's retirement and with the controversies around the 2006 and 2007 Tours de France, the sport's bottom line was taking a hit, and the sport needed to show demonstrable attempts to clean things up. An occasional small fry as we often see would no longer cut it; fan and sponsor trust at the sport was eroded, and the attempts to clean up the sport had to be whole-hearted enough to be bought as legitimate. Speeds reduced, and the profile of the kind of rider that succeeded changed. Doping, while not eradicated entirely, was able to be brought down to more palatable parameters, making the performances more believable and touchable to a sceptical audience. But... those who didn't get the memo stood out like a sore thumb. Those riders who were too blatant, who were still running at the previous speeds... they painted targets on their own backs for targeted testing by the independent testing authorities. And Andreas Klöden clearly showed Gazzetta dello Sport that he knew which teams, which riders, were not 'getting it', were not reacting to the change in the sport, and were flying too close to the sun. This was two months before the CERA test blew the sport as we know it apart in July, but it showed that those on the inside knew that there was a fight to clean the sport going on, and to a great extent they knew what would play out - even if they didn't know quite how.

In just a few short sentences, Andreas Klöden delivered positive PR for his team (also playing down their indiscretions by contrasting them against the likes of Gerolsteiner and CSF-Navigare), he furthered the agenda of the sport's redemption and trustworthiness to the skeptical audiences, but he also delivered stark (and it turned out unheeded) warnings to specific riders and teams who weren't towing the line with regards to the sport needing to clean up to at least some degree.

The 2008 Giro startlist now comes across as a kind of rogues' gallery. Just about every team has multiple riders who've either confessed or been suspended. The number is astonishing if you go down the startlist. The 2008 Giro is kind of a moment frozen in time; the sport knew that it had to clean up its act, and the wheels were in motion to do so. Speeds were coming down and most riders knew they had to tone it down too - but the action taken had yet to come to fruition and would wait until the end of the first week of the Tour de France to do so. So you still look at that top 10 and see Riccò, Sella, di Luca, Pellizotti and Menchov smiling back at you; you still see Riccò, Bosisio, Priamo, Bertolini, Sella and Pellizotti recognised as stage winners and jersey wearers. It's like a permanent monument to those that failed to recognise the sport cleaning up. As a result the 2008 Giro d'Italia looks like it's one of the dirtiest races in the history of the sport. But it's probably the exact opposite.
 
Edit: apologies to Salvarani here, this kind of grew into a much longer editorial piece, it isn't all intended as a response to their post.

"I am clean and have been controlled 22 times this season (my note: this interview took place during the Giro). Seven of those controls came from within my own team. I am controlled by five different entities - WADA, NADA (my note: the national testing authority, in this case the German), the UCI, the Swiss Cycling Federation and PWC (my note: an independent German testing company, similar to AFLD). At the Giro, there are only four teams with a tight control system: Slipstream, High Road, CSC and Astana. Rebellin and Riccò? I don't know how often they have controls like me. I don't even want to talk about the team of Priamo."

This quote was given by Andreas Klöden to Gazzetta dello Sport in May 2008. There's a lot to unpack and I think it's a really interesting and illustrative quote, that shows both how much the pros know what's going on, and also tries to sell snake oil from at least two angles.

Firstly, we know full well that Klöden has shady past of his own, and at that point he had been under investigation for doping in the Freiburg Clinic saga, but had paid to make the investigation go away. The next thing to unpick about it is the four teams that Klöden expressly points out have internal controls. Remember that this is the Astana team that is in reality more a continuation of Discovery Channel than the Liberty Seguros team that it initially inherited, and Vino and Kash are suspended at the time this interview is given. Of the four teams, two are US-registered (High Road is however the former T-Mobile team, natch), one is US-sponsored and the last, his own team, is a continuation of a US-registered and sponsored team. They make up the sum total of teams in the race with direct US interests and all but one (Barloworld being the other) of the teams in the race with English as the primary language of communication. It feels like this was very much a PR line that was needed to be fed to the American audience that could have been disillusioned by the loss of Armstrong and the suspension of Landis and I think this narrative was a hangover from the Armstrong days, this need to push the agenda that cycling had changed despite the old guard still being prominent therein, which we saw for years to come from the likes of Vaughters and Bob Stapleton. But I don't think this was something about those teams being Anglo, but more about them being representative of younger cycling markets. Places like Belgium, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Spain, they've been through the ringer like this many times and while audiences will fluctuate, they are traditional cycling markets and more than likely will still remain. The US at the time - and Germany to a lesser extent - was a younger audience that was at risk and so a message that the sport could be trusted - or at least the guys they were most familiar with or could best identify with could be trusted - was a necessary, if inelegant, way to try to bargain with that audience to be patient with the sport and continue to support it.

Even if we take at face value, these four teams have internal controls and the other teams do not... those four teams won all three Grand Tours that year, and with the emergences of the likes of Cavendish they also won a huge number of stages. And of those four teams' riders at the 2008 Giro? Astana have António Colom and Maxim Iglinsky who've tested positive for obvious doping substances (EPO), Contador who has tested positive for other doping substances, Klöden himself who has been involved in an investigation, Leipheimer who was retroactively removed from eight years of results for doping, and Gusev who would later flag biopassport irregularities. High Road have Kanstantsin Siutsou who would test positive for EPO and Morris Possoni who'd be run out of the sport after the Padova Investigation. Slipstream have Ryder Hesjedal who has admitted EPO use, David Millar who'd already been suspended, and Christian Vande Velde and Dave Zabriskie, both of whom would serve late-career suspensions for their doping involvement earlier in their careers. And CSC had Nicki Sørensen and Stuart O'Grady who have both admitted post-career to doping (the latter expressly admitting EPO usage).

And that's just the riders that were at the 2008 Giro d'Italia with Klöden. Elsewhere on those squads you have Janež Brajkovič, Thomas Frei, Chris Horner, Serguei Ivanov and Benoît Joachim on Astana (plus Paulinho who was cleared in Puerto); on High Road/Columbia that season you have Michael Barry, George Hincapie, Andreas Klier (self-admitted), Servais Knaven and Mick Freaking Rogers; on Slipstream there's also Tom Danielson, plus there's the whole fuss about Trent Lowe and del Moral in 2011. And finally, on CSC there's Volodymyr Gustov, Bobby Julich, Aleksandr Kolobnev, Karsten Kroon (self-admitted), Fränk Schleck, and investigated but not sanctioned, Jakob Fuglsang. That means, across the four teams who were putting themselves out there as the ones you could trust, 14 of their 36 riders at the 2008 Giro were past, present or future dopers. And across their full squads, a total of 32 to have been investigated or sanctioned directly, and a further one involved in a scandal that resulted in the firing of team staff for involvement with doping doctors.

And yet... look at Klöden's quote again. He starts off by framing himself as innocent and pointing at certain teams you can trust - but then he switches gear and starts talking about the people you can't trust. And we can perhaps look at those riders that he picks out, and why. Now, Riccardo Riccò is an obvious call. He finished 2nd in the 2008 Giro d'Italia and had won two stages before this interview took place. But Rebellin hadn't been all that prominent - he'd finished third in two stages but wasn't GC-relevant. So why pick on him in particular? It's an interesting question really. However, Klöden had to have had good reason, as his spidey-sense was clearly tingling. And obviously we also know Riccardo Riccò was one of those guys who was just not subtle enough; riding like he was in the Tour after riding like he did in the Giro just stood out like a sore thumb, and the CERA test being introduced clandestinely killed him off - but most notably, when said test was introduced in July, the two teams who were most heavily impacted at the Tour were Saunier Duval (Riccò's team), who saw Piepoli and Riccò bounced for doping and withdrew en masse... and Gerolsteiner (Rebellin's team), who didn't get thrown out mid-race but did get retrospective DQs for Stefan Schumacher and Bernhard Kohl.

Gerolsteiner were, in fact, pretty horrible in the 2008 Giro, with only two riders finishing, Rebellin, Gatto, Förster and Ordowski all leaving the race on the penultimate weekend and then Fothen being eliminated hors délais in the Kronplatz TT. They'd also just taken 26-year-old neopro Francesco de Bonis off the road after a ridiculous stage win in Romandie, so they may have had to tone it down a bit because they were flying a bit too close to the sun, at least Kohl's statements about the 2008 Tour would suggest this may have been the case. And of course, Saunier Duval also had a number of other riders whose histories are far from pristine at the time - Rubén Lobato, Juan José Cobo, Alberto Fernández de la Puebla, and even a young neo-pro named Raúl Alarcón.

But the most notable thing is the way Klöden, after suggesting four teams who do internal controls and two who do not (the proportion of known dopers per team in that Giro actually sees Astana with 6 out of 9 riders, only bested by LPR Brakes with 7), he mentions a team that is so obvious that he doesn't even want to talk about them: "the team of Priamo", which means Bruno Reverberi's group, or CSF-Navigare as they were at the time. CSF were, of course, all over that Giro, dominating the mountains, putting three men in mountain breaks of five, winning all the breakaway classifications and four stages of the race. Cipollini laughed at Reverberi on RAI and called him "Snow White" because his climbing-heavy team consisted of "seven dwarves". All this despite starting the race with only 8 riders because their sprinter, Max Richeze, failed a drugs test before the start of the race. So why "the team of Priamo"? Well, Matteo Priamo had won a stage that week, but it was a breakaway stage of unthreatening riders well down the GC. Not something that would have bothered Klöden. Why not "the team of Richeze", the guy that had failed a drugs test? Why not "the team of Sella", the guy going coast to coast in the GPM with more than double the points of any other rider? Why not "the team of Pozzovivo", who sat high up in the GC at least of realistic GC riders (at that point in the race Visconti was in pink with a break having been allowed several minutes in stage 5), especially since Sella lost time following a crash in week 1? Why "the team of Priamo"? What made Matteo Priamo, a rider who before that week had two stages of the Tour of Turkey and a stage of the Tour of Lorraine as his biggest wins, so notable?

Well, we found out a few months later. To the shock of nobody, at the end of July Emanuele Sella tested positive for CERA. The new test had been unveiled and CERA left a long, long trace in the blood, almost to the point where it became useless once the test was revealed because it would be detectable so long compared to regular old first generation EPO (which came back into vogue as a result). The guy that had won three mountain stages and been six seconds in an MTT away from trebling up despite having been in the break back to back days and doing long solo breakaways, fighting his way from 17 minutes down to 6th in the final GC, was doping? Perish the thought. But Sella was a talker. He only got one year's suspension because he cooperated with the authorities and he gave them the full details. And we swiftly learned why Andreas Klöden had picked on Matteo Priamo. He wasn't the most notorious rider on CSF, the most renowned, the most memorable or the most prominent. But he was the one that was supplying the CERA and passing it out to his teammates. Whether that was something Klöden picked up by intuition, by hearsay, by eavesdropping (intentionally or unintentionally) or if it was something well known in the péloton, that I can't profess to know. But something made Priamo more notable to Klöden when broaching the subject, and he was proven to be right in his suspicions. The CSF team would be quarantined for future years, and Sella, Priamo and Richeze would be suspended.

It certainly therefore feels like, if you look at Klöden's quote with a cynical eye (and in the Clinic, cynicism is the stock in trade of course), certainly it seems more that Klöden's eye was well-attuned to which teams weren't maintaining sufficient control of their riders, or which teams were being too reckless. The four teams he mentions may not all fall under the same bracket in terms of their intentions or their outcomes, but certainly in the case of Astana I would suspect that - especially bearing in mind this is a Johan Bruyneel team we are talking about - internal testing may look good to the novice fan, the neutral or the casual fan as an anti-doping measure, but this is more like the Rabobank Geert Leinders role of making sure the riders aren't tripping the wire when two thirds of your starting lineup are riders that we know now to have been doping at least at some point.

But, as I mentioned before, the thing about 2008 was that a combination of the secrecy around the CERA test and the changes in the sport since Armstrong's retirement and with the controversies around the 2006 and 2007 Tours de France, the sport's bottom line was taking a hit, and the sport needed to show demonstrable attempts to clean things up. An occasional small fry as we often see would no longer cut it; fan and sponsor trust at the sport was eroded, and the attempts to clean up the sport had to be whole-hearted enough to be bought as legitimate. Speeds reduced, and the profile of the kind of rider that succeeded changed. Doping, while not eradicated entirely, was able to be brought down to more palatable parameters, making the performances more believable and touchable to a sceptical audience. But... those who didn't get the memo stood out like a sore thumb. Those riders who were too blatant, who were still running at the previous speeds... they painted targets on their own backs for targeted testing by the independent testing authorities. And Andreas Klöden clearly showed Gazzetta dello Sport that he knew which teams, which riders, were not 'getting it', were not reacting to the change in the sport, and were flying too close to the sun. This was two months before the CERA test blew the sport as we know it apart in July, but it showed that those on the inside knew that there was a fight to clean the sport going on, and to a great extent they knew what would play out - even if they didn't know quite how.

In just a few short sentences, Andreas Klöden delivered positive PR for his team (also playing down their indiscretions by contrasting them against the likes of Gerolsteiner and CSF-Navigare), he furthered the agenda of the sport's redemption and trustworthiness to the skeptical audiences, but he also delivered stark (and it turned out unheeded) warnings to specific riders and teams who weren't towing the line with regards to the sport needing to clean up to at least some degree.

The 2008 Giro startlist now comes across as a kind of rogues' gallery. Just about every team has multiple riders who've either confessed or been suspended. The number is astonishing if you go down the startlist. The 2008 Giro is kind of a moment frozen in time; the sport knew that it had to clean up its act, and the wheels were in motion to do so. Speeds were coming down and most riders knew they had to tone it down too - but the action taken had yet to come to fruition and would wait until the end of the first week of the Tour de France to do so. So you still look at that top 10 and see Riccò, Sella, di Luca, Pellizotti and Menchov smiling back at you; you still see Riccò, Bosisio, Priamo, Bertolini, Sella and Pellizotti recognised as stage winners and jersey wearers. It's like a permanent monument to those that failed to recognise the sport cleaning up. As a result the 2008 Giro d'Italia looks like it's one of the dirtiest races in the history of the sport. But it's probably the exact opposite.
Longest post ever on the forum. Libertine is suspected to be using Aicar and should be put on the naughty step.
 
Well, the MPCC has victories on Tramadol and Cortisone, has basically exiled Quintana, regularly puts out stats and, honestly, is pretty hard to miss if you're following cycling, so I'm not really sure what the point of the question is.
Haven't been close to following the sport for a while, I'll admit, but like the thread author had the impression the MPCC was featured less prominently than 7-10 years ago.

Glad I'm wrong, because I'm not so cynical as some here that everything amount to a mere coat of paint.

Reminds me of something I saw before the Tour:


I mean, obviously plenty of other factors but still an interesting graph to say the least...

Edit: Just the picture for those that can't see twitter:

F0IixWWWcBcEd_p


Teams in light green are part of MPCC.

Non-Clinic remark : Quick Step not doing so bad (though I suppose the issue is that Remco must account for a lot of them).
 
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Edit: apologies to Salvarani here, this kind of grew into a much longer editorial piece, it isn't all intended as a response to their post.

"I am clean and have been controlled 22 times this season (my note: this interview took place during the Giro). Seven of those controls came from within my own team. I am controlled by five different entities - WADA, NADA (my note: the national testing authority, in this case the German), the UCI, the Swiss Cycling Federation and PWC (my note: an independent German testing company, similar to AFLD). At the Giro, there are only four teams with a tight control system: Slipstream, High Road, CSC and Astana. Rebellin and Riccò? I don't know how often they have controls like me. I don't even want to talk about the team of Priamo."

This quote was given by Andreas Klöden to Gazzetta dello Sport in May 2008. There's a lot to unpack and I think it's a really interesting and illustrative quote, that shows both how much the pros know what's going on, and also tries to sell snake oil from at least two angles.

Firstly, we know full well that Klöden has shady past of his own, and at that point he had been under investigation for doping in the Freiburg Clinic saga, but had paid to make the investigation go away. The next thing to unpick about it is the four teams that Klöden expressly points out have internal controls. Remember that this is the Astana team that is in reality more a continuation of Discovery Channel than the Liberty Seguros team that it initially inherited, and Vino and Kash are suspended at the time this interview is given. Of the four teams, two are US-registered (High Road is however the former T-Mobile team, natch), one is US-sponsored and the last, his own team, is a continuation of a US-registered and sponsored team. They make up the sum total of teams in the race with direct US interests and all but one (Barloworld being the other) of the teams in the race with English as the primary language of communication. It feels like this was very much a PR line that was needed to be fed to the American audience that could have been disillusioned by the loss of Armstrong and the suspension of Landis and I think this narrative was a hangover from the Armstrong days, this need to push the agenda that cycling had changed despite the old guard still being prominent therein, which we saw for years to come from the likes of Vaughters and Bob Stapleton. But I don't think this was something about those teams being Anglo, but more about them being representative of younger cycling markets. Places like Belgium, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Spain, they've been through the ringer like this many times and while audiences will fluctuate, they are traditional cycling markets and more than likely will still remain. The US at the time - and Germany to a lesser extent - was a younger audience that was at risk and so a message that the sport could be trusted - or at least the guys they were most familiar with or could best identify with could be trusted - was a necessary, if inelegant, way to try to bargain with that audience to be patient with the sport and continue to support it.

Even if we take at face value, these four teams have internal controls and the other teams do not... those four teams won all three Grand Tours that year, and with the emergences of the likes of Cavendish they also won a huge number of stages. And of those four teams' riders at the 2008 Giro? Astana have António Colom and Maxim Iglinsky who've tested positive for obvious doping substances (EPO), Contador who has tested positive for other doping substances, Klöden himself who has been involved in an investigation, Leipheimer who was retroactively removed from eight years of results for doping, and Gusev who would later flag biopassport irregularities. High Road have Kanstantsin Siutsou who would test positive for EPO and Morris Possoni who'd be run out of the sport after the Padova Investigation. Slipstream have Ryder Hesjedal who has admitted EPO use, David Millar who'd already been suspended, and Christian Vande Velde and Dave Zabriskie, both of whom would serve late-career suspensions for their doping involvement earlier in their careers. And CSC had Nicki Sørensen and Stuart O'Grady who have both admitted post-career to doping (the latter expressly admitting EPO usage).

And that's just the riders that were at the 2008 Giro d'Italia with Klöden. Elsewhere on those squads you have Janež Brajkovič, Thomas Frei, Chris Horner, Serguei Ivanov and Benoît Joachim on Astana (plus Paulinho who was cleared in Puerto); on High Road/Columbia that season you have Michael Barry, George Hincapie, Andreas Klier (self-admitted), Servais Knaven and Mick Freaking Rogers; on Slipstream there's also Tom Danielson, plus there's the whole fuss about Trent Lowe and del Moral in 2011. And finally, on CSC there's Volodymyr Gustov, Bobby Julich, Aleksandr Kolobnev, Karsten Kroon (self-admitted), Fränk Schleck, and investigated but not sanctioned, Jakob Fuglsang. That means, across the four teams who were putting themselves out there as the ones you could trust, 14 of their 36 riders at the 2008 Giro were past, present or future dopers. And across their full squads, a total of 32 to have been investigated or sanctioned directly, and a further one involved in a scandal that resulted in the firing of team staff for involvement with doping doctors.

And yet... look at Klöden's quote again. He starts off by framing himself as innocent and pointing at certain teams you can trust - but then he switches gear and starts talking about the people you can't trust. And we can perhaps look at those riders that he picks out, and why. Now, Riccardo Riccò is an obvious call. He finished 2nd in the 2008 Giro d'Italia and had won two stages before this interview took place. But Rebellin hadn't been all that prominent - he'd finished third in two stages but wasn't GC-relevant. So why pick on him in particular? It's an interesting question really. However, Klöden had to have had good reason, as his spidey-sense was clearly tingling. And obviously we also know Riccardo Riccò was one of those guys who was just not subtle enough; riding like he was in the Tour after riding like he did in the Giro just stood out like a sore thumb, and the CERA test being introduced clandestinely killed him off - but most notably, when said test was introduced in July, the two teams who were most heavily impacted at the Tour were Saunier Duval (Riccò's team), who saw Piepoli and Riccò bounced for doping and withdrew en masse... and Gerolsteiner (Rebellin's team), who didn't get thrown out mid-race but did get retrospective DQs for Stefan Schumacher and Bernhard Kohl.

Gerolsteiner were, in fact, pretty horrible in the 2008 Giro, with only two riders finishing, Rebellin, Gatto, Förster and Ordowski all leaving the race on the penultimate weekend and then Fothen being eliminated hors délais in the Kronplatz TT. They'd also just taken 26-year-old neopro Francesco de Bonis off the road after a ridiculous stage win in Romandie, so they may have had to tone it down a bit because they were flying a bit too close to the sun, at least Kohl's statements about the 2008 Tour would suggest this may have been the case. And of course, Saunier Duval also had a number of other riders whose histories are far from pristine at the time - Rubén Lobato, Juan José Cobo, Alberto Fernández de la Puebla, and even a young neo-pro named Raúl Alarcón.

But the most notable thing is the way Klöden, after suggesting four teams who do internal controls and two who do not (the proportion of known dopers per team in that Giro actually sees Astana with 6 out of 9 riders, only bested by LPR Brakes with 7), he mentions a team that is so obvious that he doesn't even want to talk about them: "the team of Priamo", which means Bruno Reverberi's group, or CSF-Navigare as they were at the time. CSF were, of course, all over that Giro, dominating the mountains, putting three men in mountain breaks of five, winning all the breakaway classifications and four stages of the race. Cipollini laughed at Reverberi on RAI and called him "Snow White" because his climbing-heavy team consisted of "seven dwarves". All this despite starting the race with only 8 riders because their sprinter, Max Richeze, failed a drugs test before the start of the race. So why "the team of Priamo"? Well, Matteo Priamo had won a stage that week, but it was a breakaway stage of unthreatening riders well down the GC. Not something that would have bothered Klöden. Why not "the team of Richeze", the guy that had failed a drugs test? Why not "the team of Sella", the guy going coast to coast in the GPM with more than double the points of any other rider? Why not "the team of Pozzovivo", who sat high up in the GC at least of realistic GC riders (at that point in the race Visconti was in pink with a break having been allowed several minutes in stage 5), especially since Sella lost time following a crash in week 1? Why "the team of Priamo"? What made Matteo Priamo, a rider who before that week had two stages of the Tour of Turkey and a stage of the Tour of Lorraine as his biggest wins, so notable?

Well, we found out a few months later. To the shock of nobody, at the end of July Emanuele Sella tested positive for CERA. The new test had been unveiled and CERA left a long, long trace in the blood, almost to the point where it became useless once the test was revealed because it would be detectable so long compared to regular old first generation EPO (which came back into vogue as a result). The guy that had won three mountain stages and been six seconds in an MTT away from trebling up despite having been in the break back to back days and doing long solo breakaways, fighting his way from 17 minutes down to 6th in the final GC, was doping? Perish the thought. But Sella was a talker. He only got one year's suspension because he cooperated with the authorities and he gave them the full details. And we swiftly learned why Andreas Klöden had picked on Matteo Priamo. He wasn't the most notorious rider on CSF, the most renowned, the most memorable or the most prominent. But he was the one that was supplying the CERA and passing it out to his teammates. Whether that was something Klöden picked up by intuition, by hearsay, by eavesdropping (intentionally or unintentionally) or if it was something well known in the péloton, that I can't profess to know. But something made Priamo more notable to Klöden when broaching the subject, and he was proven to be right in his suspicions. The CSF team would be quarantined for future years, and Sella, Priamo and Richeze would be suspended.

It certainly therefore feels like, if you look at Klöden's quote with a cynical eye (and in the Clinic, cynicism is the stock in trade of course), certainly it seems more that Klöden's eye was well-attuned to which teams weren't maintaining sufficient control of their riders, or which teams were being too reckless. The four teams he mentions may not all fall under the same bracket in terms of their intentions or their outcomes, but certainly in the case of Astana I would suspect that - especially bearing in mind this is a Johan Bruyneel team we are talking about - internal testing may look good to the novice fan, the neutral or the casual fan as an anti-doping measure, but this is more like the Rabobank Geert Leinders role of making sure the riders aren't tripping the wire when two thirds of your starting lineup are riders that we know now to have been doping at least at some point.

But, as I mentioned before, the thing about 2008 was that a combination of the secrecy around the CERA test and the changes in the sport since Armstrong's retirement and with the controversies around the 2006 and 2007 Tours de France, the sport's bottom line was taking a hit, and the sport needed to show demonstrable attempts to clean things up. An occasional small fry as we often see would no longer cut it; fan and sponsor trust at the sport was eroded, and the attempts to clean up the sport had to be whole-hearted enough to be bought as legitimate. Speeds reduced, and the profile of the kind of rider that succeeded changed. Doping, while not eradicated entirely, was able to be brought down to more palatable parameters, making the performances more believable and touchable to a sceptical audience. But... those who didn't get the memo stood out like a sore thumb. Those riders who were too blatant, who were still running at the previous speeds... they painted targets on their own backs for targeted testing by the independent testing authorities. And Andreas Klöden clearly showed Gazzetta dello Sport that he knew which teams, which riders, were not 'getting it', were not reacting to the change in the sport, and were flying too close to the sun. This was two months before the CERA test blew the sport as we know it apart in July, but it showed that those on the inside knew that there was a fight to clean the sport going on, and to a great extent they knew what would play out - even if they didn't know quite how.

In just a few short sentences, Andreas Klöden delivered positive PR for his team (also playing down their indiscretions by contrasting them against the likes of Gerolsteiner and CSF-Navigare), he furthered the agenda of the sport's redemption and trustworthiness to the skeptical audiences, but he also delivered stark (and it turned out unheeded) warnings to specific riders and teams who weren't towing the line with regards to the sport needing to clean up to at least some degree.

The 2008 Giro startlist now comes across as a kind of rogues' gallery. Just about every team has multiple riders who've either confessed or been suspended. The number is astonishing if you go down the startlist. The 2008 Giro is kind of a moment frozen in time; the sport knew that it had to clean up its act, and the wheels were in motion to do so. Speeds were coming down and most riders knew they had to tone it down too - but the action taken had yet to come to fruition and would wait until the end of the first week of the Tour de France to do so. So you still look at that top 10 and see Riccò, Sella, di Luca, Pellizotti and Menchov smiling back at you; you still see Riccò, Bosisio, Priamo, Bertolini, Sella and Pellizotti recognised as stage winners and jersey wearers. It's like a permanent monument to those that failed to recognise the sport cleaning up. As a result the 2008 Giro d'Italia looks like it's one of the dirtiest races in the history of the sport. But it's probably the exact opposite.

I really enjoyed reading this, brings back good memories. However, I think you are also extrapolating quite a bit with Priamo and Rebellin.

I just checked the date of the interview, and Priamo won a rather impressive stage a couple of days ago of the interview against a decent set of riders, which includes dropping Kloden's teammate on the 2nd to last climb.

Rebellin also had a very impressive spring that year. He was also one of the guys that dropped Contador and Kloden in the 2nd stage and was 3rd on the stage where Ricco did a crazy uphill sprint.

I think at that point, Sella is a nobody to him that did not win a stage yet, and Rebellin is the annoying guy that is still going very strong at the young age of 37, and is having a very good start for that Giro. The thing that surprising is to me is, leaving LPR out, which is probably the obvious doping team.

He definitely sniffed that something was up as the Italian teams were obviously on another gear compared to him and Contador, and likely knew the CERA epidemic. Still, I'd not put much weight on his selection of riders. His mindset is probably in the tune of "Italian riders and teams bad, Rebellin old and bad, Priamo just won a stage, so his team also bad", which is probably an oversimplification, but likely what he means.
 
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What happened to the organization of cycling teams with focus on a clean and fair sport? I can hardly google anything about it. It was - among other things - interesting because certain teams stayed out of it, including Jumbo-Visma, UAE and Ineos (as far as I remember).

the MPCC. every team joined at one point, then they left when they didn't like the rules. SkIneos was the only one that never did.

Sunweb was MPCC (DSM still is) when they won the 2017 Giro with Dumo
Dumo was 2nd at Giro and Tour 2018
Sunweb podiumed the 2020 Giro with Hindley-Keldermann and won Fleche with Hirschi
Bora won Valenciana, Catalunya, Romandie, Giro 2022
 
@Libertine Seguros

There was an incident where the father of Andrea Moletta was caught with substances including Viagra and effervescent powder.

I remember Karsten Migels talking about it on Eurosport during their Giro d'Italia coverage.

There was an alleged connection to CSF. But I'm not sure if I remember that correctly 15 years later.

Andrea Moletta was the lieutenant of Rebellin at Gerolsteiner.
That's the reason why Klöden mentions those 2 teams or Rebellin explicitly!

And yes, just like you I believe Klöden was connected well enough within the cycling family that he knew, had heard about or at least anticipated a thing or two to connect the dots regarding Priamo.

 
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Perhaps Klöden often had a sense of the state of play and for when not to cross the line. Because I always found it interesting that he didn't test positive in the 2007 Tour (not to suggest that he wasn't doping). Consider that teammates Vino and Kaschekin both tripped the wire.....Vino after the ITT that he won and after which Klöden - having finished 3rd - also had to give a sample. Yet he tested negative.

In 2009 Klöden still performed at a high level at the Tour, yet at 2010 he was decidedly off the pace, despite showing promising form leading into July (as he had also done in 2009). And although they were no longer on the same team, Tour winner Contador was banned post race. So maybe Klöden had a sense for when authorities were keener to catch some big fish?

It wasn't just an age thing, because in early 2011 Klöden returned to better form again (we can only speculate how he may have performed in July without crashes).
 
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I don't think all WT teams joined but their membership in that tier was maybe a little higher at one point, % wise. Astana left / was pushed away and so did Katusha, if what I read yesterday was correct.
Jumbo were members too until George Bennett was prevented to race a GT because he had low cortisol. I think they also had Theo Bos unable to race a GT due to low Cortisol too. Plugge said they had to withdraw with immediate effect and called on the Corticosteroid testing to be changed so you could have a day with low Cortisol but still race the riders.
 
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Tom Dumoulin also left when he joined Jumbo. But I'm not sure if it was his idea or if the team does not accept members of the MPCC.
He said it was hypocritical to be a member himself when the team were not iirc. Obviously today UCI's low cortisol rules are the same as MPCC anyway so he probably would have remained a member today as it makes no difference being MPCC or not when taking Corticosteroids now, you're pulled from racing anyway if it's caused your cortisol to drop too low regardless.
 
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