The UCI has confirmed that anti-doping controls at the Tour de France will again be carried out by the French Agence Française de Lutte contre le Dopage (AFLD) in collaboration with the independent, but UCI funded, Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF).
In the past the UCI and AFLD has fought over the anti-doping controls at major French races, with the UCI defending its right to manage anti-doping controls in international races, while AFLD insisted that it had the authority to manage the anti-doping controls at the Tour de France. The AFLD refused to work with the UCI in the spring of 2013, citing the Federation’s “serious mistakes” made in the past.
In a press release, the UCI described the current agreement as way to “maximize the efficiency of the control system.”
The agreement covers an exchange of location data and information on the Biological Passport, blood checks and target testing before the start, joint decisions on which riders will be tested, intelligence gathering with French police and storage of some samples for future testing in years to come.
“I am extremely pleased that this partnership between the UCI, the CADF and AFLD on the Tour de France continues in 2015," UCI Brian Cookson said in the press release. "The UCI is now collaborating much more effectively with all anti-doping stakeholders both directly and, where appropriate, through the CADF. I strongly believe that it is by joining our forces that we will protect clean athletes more efficiently,”
Bruno Genevois, President of the AFLD, said: “I am more than ever convinced of the necessity for all actors in the fight against doping to work together and I hope that the cooperation between the French Anti-Doping Agency and the CADF sets the example for other sports.”
Francesca Rossi, Director of the CADF, hinted that the UCI is doing fewer anti-doping controls in races but is convinced that the joint AFLD-CAFD programme can be a strong deterrent at this year's Tour de France.
“Our 2015 testing programme focuses more and more on qualitative rather than quantitative aspects. The anti-doping programme put in place for this year’s Tour de France has all the elements necessary to meet anti-doping objectives, both in terms of protecting the cyclists’ health and ensuring the sport’s ethics,” Rossi said.