Cycling union tight-lipped on press conference

Pat McQuaid to discuss anti-doping programme with French

Questioned as to whether any announcements about the biological passport would be made at tomorrow's press conference in Paris, the International Cycling Union (UCI) has remained tight-lipped.

"We will talk about our collaboration with the AFLD [French anti-doping agency ] for the Tour de France," UCI President Pat McQuaid told Cyclingnews. The Irishman refused to comment as to whether or not results from the biological passport would be disclosed.

What is certain to be discussed is the anti-doping programme for the Tour, as it is the official purpose of the conference. Last year, the French anti-doping agency AFLD was responsible for testing and caught several riders, including stage winners Riccardo Riccò and Stefan Schumacher, plus the mountains classification victor and third-placed finisher Bernhard Kohl.

The two bodies announced in March that they would work together for this year's Tour. "The AFLD did an excellent job in those controls," stated McQuaid at the time. "Some riders tested positive and that's a success. It's important that the cheats get caught."

Whether or not the biological passport is on the schedule, it's likely to be brought up by the media following Kohl's comments to L'Equipe.

The cycling union announced the passport programme in late 2007 and test results began to be analysed shortly after that point. There has been a considerable wait for results, something that is attributed to the necessity to have watertight cases as it is the first time such an anti-doping protocol has been used by a sporting governing body.

Rather than pinpointing one positive result, as has been the case with previous anti-doping tests, the biological passport seeks to build a profile from which suspicious deviations can be made apparent.

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