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Ashenden, Kimmage and Walsh amongst anti-doping figures in new pressure groups backed by Skins

Former pro cycling team members, world renowned doping experts, and campaigning international journalists have formed  a global pressure group with the aim for forcing chance onto the UCI, the international governing body for cycling, at a meeting in London next week.

The group, Change Cycling Now, is to pressure the UCI over its alleged mis-handling of the sport’s global image in the wake of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

It will discuss proposals that offer an alternative approach to re-invigorate the sport's reputation.

The two-day summit will be attended by one of the world’s foremost blood doping experts, Michael Ashenden, who formerly acted on the UCI panel, and Professor Antoine Vayer, a former cycling trainer, who attended the famous Festina doping trial in 2000 as a professional expert and morality witness.

Freelance writer Paul Kimmage, who was the subject of a lawsuit served by the President and former President of the UCI after he made accusations of corrupt practice, will also be there, joined by David Walsh, chief sports Writer for The Sunday Times and author of four books on Lance Armstrong including, L.A. Confidential.

The CEO of the USADA, Travis Tygart, has confirmed that he will come to the meeting.

Jaimie Fuller, who owns Skins, the compressionwear company that is currently suing the UCI for $2 million for failing to rid sport of doping, has set up the conference, which begins on the 3rd of December.

Fuller said: “The creation of Change Cycling Now reflects the frustration and anger that I, and many people directly involved in the sport feel towards the UCI and their management practices.

"I believe we have put together a very strong core group which represents the feelings of thousands of people within the sport who want to see definite change. It would be easy to sit around and criticise and accuse, but we shall be discussing positive ways to effect the future with changes that can move us back towards a sport that has integrity and is also clean and credible.

"I am in no doubt that this group also represents the millions of cycling fans who share the views of those who will be around the table.

"We will also be exploring ways to ensure that these fans can join with us to send an unequivocal message to the UCI and its officers that the current approach is simply not good enough.”

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.