Ag2r La Mondiale withdraws from Critérium du Dauphiné to honor MPCC rules

Vincent Lavenu pulls his French squad from its home race as part of MPCC-required one-week ban

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IVREA, Italy (AFP) — Following the positive doping control of Sylvain Georges last week, the Ag2r La Mondiale team decided Tuesday to withdraw itself from the Critérium du Dauphiné in early June out of respect for the rules of the Movement for a Credible Cycling

“This is a blow for riders, sport management, and team partners,” team boss Vincent Lavenu told Agence France Presse.

Lavenu is a founding member of the MPCC.

MPCC rules require member teams to impose a self-fixed one-week suspension if they experience two positive doping controls in less than 12 months, regardless of the product in question.

The French team has recorded positive cases with Sylvain Georges, who tested positive for the stimulant heptaminol at the Giro d’Italia last week, and Steve Houanard, who tested positive for EPO late in 2012.

“The team is right in his boots, it fulfills its commitments vis-à-vis the MPCC and the fight against doping, even if it is not easy and if it is penalized,”said Lavenu. “We respect the rules as they are written. There was fault and everyone is penalized.”

The Critérium du Dauphiné, which serves as a dress rehearsal before the Tour de France, takes place in the region where the Chambery-based team is headquartered.

“The Dauphiné is an important race for us; this is the first time in 22 years we will not be there,” said Lavenu.

The team’s decision is a first in accordance the internal rules of the MPCC.

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