While amateur doping in Italy has surged in recent years, the Italian Cycling Federation (FCI) has adopted sweeping new rules for amateur cycling in 2022 that allow former dopers to return to the sport after serving their ban.
FCI Code of Ethics changes approved for 2022 overturn rules that excluded amateur athletes, including gran fondo riders, from competition at FCI sanctioned events if they were found guilty in the past of using banned substances.
President of the [FCI] Amateur Commission Andrea Capelli announced the change, “The impossibility of being able to register…for those who have had sanctions for doping in the past disappears. Those who have served their sentence will be able to return to the group…”
Why did the FCI change the rule? Capelli added, “Unfortunately, their is no statistical evidence that [the old rule] has directly contributed to making a difference with the doping phenomenon at an amateur level. After eight years, the time has come to make a rationale change to this aspect as well and review those steps that are no longer current or that have created the greatest problems from the point of view of practical application.”
The “practical application” references the multitude of amateur cycling governing bodies in Italy that do not coordinate or share information via a national database of sanctioned riders, thus allowing riders to easily switch from one governing jurisdiction to another and continue to race while sanctioned.
While FCI believes the rule changes will make things easier for event organisers, not everyone is one board with the change.
On social media Bravo Dagnoni said “Scandalous ….. the more we go forward, the more we go back. How can cheating “amateurs” be allowed to run again?”