The sports governing body, the UCI has called on Bjarne Riis to symbolically return the yellow jersey he won at the 1996 Tour de France following his doping confession on Friday.

?The law of silence no longer applies ? each person must now assume the full consequences of their actions,? the UCI said in a statement.

?Despite the time limits for sanctions established by the World Anti-Doping Code having elapsed, the UCI urges the former rider to return his yellow jersey, the symbol of his victory.?

According to UCI president Pat McQuaid, cycling has reached a major turning point.

?Although the past and the present may confront us with difficult issues, there is now a strong desire among the majority of people in the cycling world to change things,? he said in the statement.

?Cycling is currently in a crucial period of self-criticism, a necessary step if we are to move on to a healthier situation. The process under way must lead us to a new kind of cycle sport, with a new spirit among the riders, managers, directeur sportifs and team doctors who have learned from the all-too-often negative experiences of the past. I am very optimistic and urge all those involved in our sport to co-operate.?

The UCI statement described the recent confessions as ?extremely positive? and called for others to speak out.

?The UCI urged all other riders who have doped and any other people involved in encouraging doping, anywhere in the world, to speak out too,? the statement said.

?The events of recent months have not happened by chance. The cycling world is changing and the UCI, as in the case of Operación Puerto, is very proactive, using all means available to it to put pressure on those implicated.?

?While acknowledging the unfortunate effects of the ongoing situation for the sponsors, the UCI thanks the sponsors for supporting these efforts.?