Yesterday, Amedeo Colombo, the president of the Italian Professional Riders Association (ACCPI), launched his counterattack on DNA testing in cycling. "It is manipulating and lacks clarity," Colombo charged. "Sporting groups are kicking up cloud of dust about DNA testing. That's a mere waving of hands that only runs the risk of giving riders a bad name." Colombo stated that riders being forced to sign their acceptance of DNA, as first proposed by international Association of Professional Cycling teams (AIGCP) in October, is "legal non-sense."
The testing was proposed in the wake of a turbulent summer that gave cycling to big blows; Operación Puerto and Floyd Landis' positive test in the Tour de France. But Colombo gave his concerns for the riders' legal rights. "We cannot win this battle without respecting rules," the Italian continued.
The ACCPI president drafted a document that riders could attach when signing contracts regarding DNA testing. The document read that "the acceptance signature and consent shall not be considered in any way a generic preventive consent to the transmission of a tissue sample or body fluid" but "a statement of intent that would have to be eventually followed, where requested, in an explicit and clear manner, in terms setup by national and international regulations."
It further stated that "there is a three day expiration date to give or decline their consent, staring from the moment when the rider is directly notified of the request by a juridical or disciplinary authority." And that "this consent could only be given in writing for the specific and determined request [of use]."
Colombo further attempted to have the burden not fully placed on the riders' shoulders. He noted that the team should be held responsible, as well as its riders. "It's time for everybody, and not only for riders, to face their responsibilities," concluded Colombo. "When will the team managers themselves formally pledge to leave if they, unfortunately, are personally involved, or their team, in penal or sporting investigations?"
Cyclingnews' recent coverage of 'Operación Puerto'
April 2, 2009 - Valverde indignant over possible suspension
April 1, 2009 - Valverde: Italy requests two-year suspension
March 13, 2009 - Le Monde newspaper hit with fine over Puerto allegations
March 2, 2009 - WADA president Fahey asks for Puerto evidence
February 24, 2009 - Spanish federation seeks access to Puerto blood bags
February 20, 2009 - CONI considers Valverde case while UCI awaits verdict
February 19, 2009 - Valverde under criminal investigation
February 11, 2009 - Valverde summonsed for Operación Puerto in Italy
February 8, 2009 - Eight charged in Operación Puerto