Pierre Bordry has announced his resignation as the head of the French anti-doping agency (AFLD). Bordry’s term as president was due to end on July 1, 2011, but he will instead formally step down as soon as a successor is appointed early next month.
Bordry told the Associated Press that he was leaving his post with “a very good record” in the fight against doping but he maintained that the agency’s work could be improved with “perennial resources.” Bordry was appointed as president in October 2006.
According to L’Èquipe, Bordry had become increasingly frustrated by negotiations with the French Ministry of Health and Sport over the AFLD’s budget. The 71-year-old Bordry’s announcement comes as the AFLD is campaigning for an expensive modernisation of its Châtenay-Malabry laboratory and appealing for funding to maintain its current level of 9,000 tests per year.
It is also understood that relations between the AFLD and cycling's governing body, the International Cycling Union (UCI), had been terse. It required the intervention of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to allow the AFLD to play a role in drug testing at this year's Tour de France. The AFLD had previously led testing at the 2008 Tour de France and the French agency's use of targeted controls saw a number of riders test positive for CERA.
Last week, Bordry announced that the AFLD would cooperate fully with the federal investigation into alleged doping practices in cycling in the United States and he offered to hand over Lance Armstrong’s urine samples from the 1999 Tour de France to investigators.
French Prime Minister François Fillon and Minister for Health and Sport Roselyne Bachelot have been informed of Bordry’s decision.