Baseball, football and other major league sports can learn a thing or two from the Davis-based U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame.
A new policy announced Tuesday by the Hall’s board of directors imposes lifetime bans on cycling athletes or contributors who admit or are convicted of violating rules concerning performance-enhancing drugs.
The policy goes into effect immediately.
“Induction into the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame is reserved for only the most qualified athletes and contributors in our sport,” explains President Anthony Costello. “Inductees have made a huge sacrifice throughout their careers to achieve a special level of dedication and success.
“It is sad that things have come to this, but we want to send a clear message that one cannot be simultaneously doping and competing fairly. It’s fair competition and earned success that we value.”
Costello went on to say that the edict will ensure “the Hall of Fame will be decorated only with the athletes that have chosen to play by the rules of the sport.”
Competitors like once-legendary Lance Armstrong, according to the new policy, will never be enshrined.
Hall of Fame spokeswoman Sabrina Vigil writes “in light of … the use of PEDs by prominent cyclists such as Armstrong — and many others associated with his long-standing U.S. Anti-Doping Association investigation — the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame’s board of directors began work in late 2012 to clarify the scope of qualification requirements for potential inductees.”
Hall of Fame nominees are recommended by the organization’s Nominations and Selection Committee. Currently, that wing is considering nominees to place on this year’s ballot.
Inductees are chosen by the vote of more than 150 current Hall of Famers, cycling professionals, industry experts and historians.
Costello told The Enterprise that the new policy defines the qualification scope such that no person with a “clear or confessed history of PED violations may be considered for inclusion on the official ballot.”
Shrine officials caution that athletes who were “inadvertent users” or are involved in ongoing investigations can still be considered (although details of the allegations or “accidental” use are made clear to voters). Costello says, in those cases, subjects must have no prior offense.
Founded in 1985, the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame has been headquartered in Davis for five years after relocating from New Jersey.