CA, the AIS and national anti-doping agencies can only do so much in ensuring that the pre-2006 era of doping remains in the past. Necessarily, the impetus for change, both nationally and internationally, must come from the teams and from the individual riders. It does seem that the building blocks and the will are present, and that CA is committed to adopting a stronger anti-doping stance. Positive examples in enforcing a zero tolerance policy do exist, including that provided by the SKY and Orica-GreenEDGE teams, by the teams that have joined the Movement for Credible Cycling, and by the development of the reform plan 'Charter of the Willing' under the auspices of the Change Cycling Now movement.
So far as Australian cycling is concerned, there is a need for CA and for the high performance and development programs to actively promote a zero tolerance policy, both through their educational strategies and their actions in managing national teams. They need to embrace the anti-doping initiatives that have been announced for the reform of professional cycling, and convince Australian riders to conform to those initiatives.
The message that must be conveyed to riders is that doping not only is potentially injurious to their health, but it dishonestly deprives fellow competitors of a fair race and of the rewards that are potentially on offer. Riders must be made to realise that doping risks the future of any team of which they are members, and that they can never be sure that future testing, or intelligence, will not reveal past violations with a consequent loss of their reputation and of any titles that they have won.
It was suggested to me during the Review that the advice that needs to be given to aspiring young professional cyclists should be to the following effect:
'In 2012 you do not even have to think about doping as a pathway you will ever need to take to have success. Because it's simple: you can win at the highest level without doping, and the most important thing is your work ethic and ticking boxes with looking after yourself with nutrition, sleep and equipment as well as skills. Being a successful athlete is about having the complete package, especially in a sport like road cycling where you are based outside Australia.'
It is that culture that CA must promote and support with its anti-doping programs and strategies.