2009 Tour anti-doping test policy yet to be settled

UCI President Pat McQuaid and his counterpart at the French anti-doping agency AFLD, Pierre Bordry,...

UCI President Pat McQuaid and his counterpart at the French anti-doping agency AFLD, Pierre Bordry, have yet to clear their differences regarding the anti-doping policies in next year's Tour de France testing programme.

The AFLD was in charge of this year's testing, targeting specific riders who showed unusual blood values, and revealed that a total of seven riders had doped during the 2008 Tour. Next year, with the new-found agreement between the UCI and the race organiser ASO, the world governing body will be heading the testing again as it had in 2007 and previous Tours.

But Bordry is opposed to this, saying his organisation should be responsible for the testing policies, too, and not only work at an executive level for the UCI. "McQuaid says that in the next Tour de France he will decide the policy for testing, and if the AFLD does anything it will just be taking samples and testing," Bordry said to the AP on Wednesday from his office in Paris, criticising the UCI's testing methods compared to the AFLD's.

"It won't be the same policy for testing," Bordry continued. "Our technique is to target those who we think have abnormal blood levels, for example. On the last Tour de France we did 50 percent more tests than the UCI did the year before."

Moreover, he questioned the UCI's biological passport programme. "I would also like to understand how the riders that we tested positive during the Tour were undetected by the blood passport programme established by the UCI," Bordry added.

The Frenchman chose not to attend the Tour de France presentation because of this disagreement. McQuaid, on the other hand, was present as the 2009 route was revealed, and said his organisation would oversee the testing properly. "We are the international body responsible for anti-doping in cycling worldwide, not just in France and we will do a job and do it correctly," McQuaid told reporters. "[Bordry] wants to do [the testing] himself and have the UCI as just a sanctioning body. That is not possible. That is unacceptable to the UCI."

McQuaid wants to meet with Bordry to resolve any possible differences ahead of next July. "I have a very good personal relationship with him. A couple of weeks ago he rang me when I was on my holidays to inform me about the [CERA] positives," McQuaid said. "I am sure we can work something out."

Bordry agreed to this, saying he hoped a meeting could take place within the "coming weeks," preferably before December when riders traditionally begin their training programmes for next season.

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