OSTERMUNDIGEN, SWITZERLAND, Oct 30, 2012: In the last couple of weeks the cycling sport has been confronted with a new dimension of doping. The Armstrong affair has stirred up the cycling world and the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI), as main relation of the bicycle industry towards the UCI, has monitored closely the possible consequences for our industry and wishes to take the following position;
Within the World Federation, the WFSGI Bicycle Committees are the relation for the industry towards the UCI and this year most attention was addressed to the UCI frame and fork approval process, the wheel approval process, the rule explanations, the Olympic Games and the work process between the organizations in general. Today we can confirm that for both, the WFSGI and the UCI, it is clear that we can only move forward on equipment rules and regulations by collaborating together. The UCI confirmed that it is unquestionable that there are many advantages for the UCI to work directly with an organization like the WFSGI.
When it comes to the Armstrong affair, the WFSGI takes since many years a firm position to condamn doping and unethical behaviour and all our brands follow this line of conduct that is reflected in their contracts with athletes and teams. In this context and based on the International Cycling Union’s (UCI) decision to acknowledge and support the overwelming evidence of the USADA accusing Lance Armstrong guilty of doping, the WFSGI fully understands the decision of the main sponsors and a host of other sponsors to disassociate themselves from the US-athlete.
WFSGI Secretary General, Robbert de Kock, says: “As a direct consequence of the Armstrong affair we have to make sure that the bicycle sport can continue to develop and here we see no other role than to continue to support the UCI in this project. High level discussions are in preparation to further discuss the development of the cycling sport and its equipment. Today we can be fortunate that the bicycle industry is much more than professional racing and we see therefore only a very limited influence in sales caused by the Armstrong affair. Cycling today is sport, leisure and transportation and this will continue despite the unfortunate problems around doping. ”
A further concern for the future is to secure the support of cycling by governments by investing in infrastructures which is essential to further develop cycling on a large scale (transport, leisure and sport). Will governments punish cycling sport due to the negative messages and reduce their possible investment of public money in activities which draw negative attention each time again? The WFSGI urges all cycling associations to lobby and secure that this de-investment will not take place. —- WFSGI