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McQuaid accuses ASO of eyeing 'financial takeover' of cycling's major races

McQuaid accuses ASO of eyeing 'financial takeover' of cycling's major races

UCI president Pat McQuaid accused the organizers of the Tour de France and Paris-Nice of trying to "buy up" cycling's major events.
The Amaury Sports Organization, which owns both events, said Tuesday that the Paris-Nice race will go ahead next month under its own rules despite opposition from the International Cycling Union, which has asked teams to boycott the season's first significant stage race.
"It is a financial takeover. They're trying to buy up the best races," McQuaid told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Tuesday. "There is a strong rumor in Spain that there are discussions of a takeover" of the Spanish Vuelta by ASO.
"One by one the major races in cycling are falling into the hands of a commercial organization," McQuaid added.
He accused ASO, which has about 4,000 employees, of being motivated by "ever-growing financial profit."
ASO could not immediately be reached for comment.
McQuaid said he is still waiting for responses from a letter sent Monday to all ProTour teams explaining why the UCI will not oversee the 75-year-old Paris-Nice race.
ASO, however, said it would not be dissuaded from hosting the Paris-Nice race under its own rules.
"Despite the hostile positions taken by the UCI president, Paris-Nice will take place as planned from the ninth to the 16th of March," ASO said in a statement. "And will be organized according to the technical rules of the French Cycling Federation, in application of the French law."
That would make the FFC responsible for overseeing doping controls if the UCI withdraws its anti-doping officials. The UCI could also threaten to keep ASO races outside of its proposed scheme of anti-doping passports.
The rift could also jeopardize the Tour de France, with the UCI threatening to withdraw anti-doping regulators from the sport's marquee event if organizers and French cycling authorities do not hold their events under the UCI's jurisdiction.


Updated : 2021-05-10 08:02 GMT+08:00