By Gregor Brown
The Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA) issued a statement today that advised riders to ask for identification from of all anti-doping testers who come to their home. Its president, Cédric Vasseur, is worried about foul play in a sport that is issues numerous controls in and out of competition.
"Think it is better to know who is coming – the UCI [International Cycling Union], a national organisation like the AFLD [French anti-doping agency], WADA [World Anti-Doping Agency], or an organisation, like one from the Flemish government. It is for security reasons," Frenchman Vasseur said to Cyclingnews.
The CPA supplied a frequency chart of biological passport controls, produced by the UCI's Anne Gripper, in its statement. Through September 2008, riders were tested an average of 8.7 times in blood and urine controls. The UCI performed more than half of the controls, 6.5 on average, outside of competition.
The UCI started the biological passport programme in January as a way to establish riders' haematological and steroid profiles. Italian Emanuele Sella was one rider caught though these type of tracking controls.
"In the last few weeks I have had a lot of phone calls from riders who have had two or three controls in the last 10 days. They don't understand why they have controls today and then more in the following days. Most of them, when I ask, don't know who did the controls. A French guy from Cofidis got controlled two weeks ago by the AFLD and then on the day after the Tour presentation, from the UCI – three controls in total."
Vasseur underlined security behind the CPA's statement. "Most of the riders just open the door when someone arrives for the control. ... I could put on a glasses and moustache to go to [Alejandro] Valverde's house!"