Stuttgart to host after getting doping control assurances

Updated: August 2, 2007, 2:49 PM ET
Associated Press

STUTTGART, Germany -- The city of Stuttgart backed off threats to pull out as host of September's world road cycling championships on Thursday after successfully demanding more doping controls.

This was the second time in two weeks the German city decided to keep the championships after a doping-marred Tour de France. The agreement on doping controls came after meetings with the International Cycling Union, German cycling authorities and city, federal and German Olympic committee officials.

"The controls are so all-encompassing that no one will dope and not be caught," said Susanne Eisenmann, chief of sports for Stuttgart. "This is a real chance for a new start."

Eisenmann said controls during the Sept. 25-30 championships will be increased to 150 from the 60 originally planned, expanding to areas such as hotel rooms and team vehicles. Another 200 tests will take place leading up to the event.

In another doping-control effort Thursday, International Cycling Union president Pat McQuaid asked professional riders from second-tier continental teams to sign the sport's anti-doping charter.

He wants the riders to pledge they are not involved in doping, will not breach anti-doping rules, and promise to submit DNA samples to Spanish authorities in the Operation Puerto investigation.

The UCI asked the elite ProTour teams to sign a similar document last month.

Those who sign the charters agree to pay a year's salary if they break the rules.

The names of cyclists and team officials who sign the commitment will be published on the UCI Web site. So far, 641 riders, managers and team staff members have signed.

"Cycling will show through the decisions that it's serious about a new direction," German interior minister Wolfgang Schaueble said.

Schaueble was among politicians in recent weeks to threaten to cancel the world championships if a hard line against doping wasn't adopted.

Stuttgart said dropping the championships would have cost it $4 million. It also faced demands for compensation from television stations.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press