Pat McQuaid, the president of the Unione Cicliste International, praised Giro d?Italia leader Marco Pinotti of the T-Mobile team for his stance against doping.

Pinotti criticised 2006 Giro winner Ivan Basso for confessing to attempted doping “only…when he had his back to the wall”. He also said his T-Mobile team were clean and should be an example to every team.

?He?s been very brave and I completely agree with him,? McQuaid said.

?I?d never met Pinotti but he introduced himself after last October?s Tour of Lombardy race and said he wanted to talked to me about doping. He said: ?Mr McQuaid if you don?t get this doping situation sorted out I have no option but to leave the sport because I can?t continue to race against guys that are doping.? ?

?I was quite impressed by him that day and it encouraged and motivated me to keep on fighting. I?ve read in the press that he?s considered a clean and honest rider. He seems quite an intelligent guy and he has a good philosophy about the sport.?

?I think it?s a good sign that he spoke out and there are others out there like him. His young British T-Mobile team mate Mark Cavendish won two stages in the Four Days of Dunkirk recently and Marcus Burghardt won Ghent-Wevelgem. Even Stuart O?Grady of CSC winning Paris-Roubaix is a sign that things are changing in cycling.?

?At the moment the press is writing a lot about Operacion Puerto, Ivan Basso and Floyd Landis, but I firmly believe there?s only a small number of rider who dope in the ProTour peloton and I think it?s getting less and less. They?ve got the fear of God in them and because of what has happened to Basso, they know there?s no place to hide,? sais McQuaid.