The French Anti-doping Agency (AFLD) is prepared to perform twice as many blood and urine tests at the upcoming Paris-Nice as were done in 2007, the agency's president Pierre Bordry announced Thursday. The AFLD was made responsible for anti-doping controls at Paris-Nice when the race organiser, ASO, placed the event under the auspices of the French Cycling Federation.
The AFLD raised concern when it added hair samples to the list of collections taken from the riders during Paris-Nice, but Bordry clarified that hair "will be analysed only if the urine or blood is positive," according to AFP.
The AFLD has also decided to accept Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) which the UCI used to document riders who need to use normally banned substances because of a medical condition. Citing the short time given to prepare for the organisation of the event, Bordry explained that he had "no problem with the UCI" and that the AFLD is "not the arm of ASO."
The plans for the Paris-Nice event will also include some unique features. "We are not going to systematically monitor the winner and the leader in the overall," Bordry revealed. "It must not be that someone who does not want to be controlled arranges not to be," he suggested.
Bordry added that any sanctions taken by the AFLD against a rider with a positive test would be automatically be recognised by the UCI by virtue of both being a signatory of the World Anti-Doping Code.