In a rant filled series of tweets, amateur event organizer Gran Fondo New York (GFNY) claims a long-term event sponsor pulled out because GFNY banned and refused an advertisement featuring professional rider Alejandro Valverde.
GFNY co-founder Uli Fluhme stated a “long-term” sponsor has pulled out because GFNY refused to include an advertisement in the 2020 event guide of World Road Champion Alejandro Valverde, who served a two year suspension from 2010 – 2012 for doping.
Fluhme’s Twitter followers speculate the company in question is GFNY’s title sponsor Campagnolo.
Fluhme is an outspoken critic of doping in cycling and advertises GFNY as a world leader in amateur anti-doping efforts. GFNY states they randomly selects athletes out of a pre-determined testing pool of top riders with a legitimate chance to place in the top 10 overall or win an age group. Although, the bulk of GFNY riders are not subjected to any random testing.
Since 2012, 8 GFNY riders have tested positive for banned substances. With 3 positive tests in 2019 alone, it is unclear whether GFNY’s anti-doping efforts are actually reducing the likelihood of doping at GFNY events.
The 2020 GFNY World Championship event is May 17 in New York City.