Director CSC Global Sponsorships Ole Egeblad, fresh from competing in the Crocodile Trophy, is back home in Denmark and "proud" of what he is hearing from his team. Yesterday, team manager of CSC, Bjarne Riis, announced that his team would start a new intensive anti-drug program in December that will run through the 2007 season.
"It is 100% a Team CSC initiative," Egeblad explained to Cyclingnews. "However we are always in close dialogue with the Team, and we have supported the project from day one."
The tests will make way for the monitoring of CSC riders, looking for the presence of EPO, Nesp, evidence of blood transfusions and significant changes in hormone profiles. The results of the checks will be kept in a data bank that will be made available to the UCI and WADA upon request and, at the end of the 2007 season, a dossier of results will be provided to the press.
"CSC [the IT company] is in full support of Team CSC's new, aggressive anti-doping program," continued Egeblad regarding the program created by Riis with the help of Danish anti-doping expert Rasmus Damsgaard. "We're proud of the fact that they have stepped forward to create the most comprehensive anti-doping program in all of cycling and that they've done this because they believe it is the best thing for the sport, not because they've been forced to by any governing body or outside interest."
The cycling public couldn't be blamed for being lost amongst the well-intended anti-doping programs that are surfacing by teams like T-Mobile, Gerolsteiner, and, now, Team CSC. There seems to be a need for a unified solution to combat doping in cycling but for the time being the teams have to lead the way.
"It's not a big secret that we as one of the major sponsors for professional cycling do have some concerns about the fact that professional cycling these days has some challenges when it comes to unified solution amongst the ProTour teams," confirmed the Dane. "However it's up to the teams to find the best solution for the sport of professional cycling. ... I don't know other team programs exactly, but it seems like T-Mobile and Team CSC are sharing the yellow jersey right now."