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At the start of the Tour de France stage to Alpe d’Huez there were 49 riders from teams part of the "Mouvement Pour un Cyclisme Crédible" (MPCC) and their President, Roger Legeay, has told Cyclingnews that all of them completed an 'anti-doping' test that showed "no abnormal results".
The MPCC covers seven teams: AG2R-La Mondiale, Cofidis, Europcar, Francaise des Jeux, Garmin-Cervélo and two squads which are not in this year's Tour de France, Skil-Shimano and Bretagne-Schuller.
In order to protect both athletes’ health and prevent doping, the MPCC runs internal tests to check the level of Cortisol (a stress hormone) in riders' blood.
“The latest internal test happened the day after the second rest day in the Tour de France [last Monday, Ed.]”, Legeays told Cyclingnews.
“Our independent expert [Armand Mégret, also the doctor of French Cycling Federation, Ed.] supervised the controls. There are no abnormal results.”
Cyclingnews understands the penultimate internal test happened in June, at the Critérium du Dauphiné. All the MPCC teams which took part to the race were tested, except Europcar.
Asked about this test by Cyclingnews, Legeay said: “It is true they missed the test but I agreed to that, as Europcar had another test the same day, run by the UCI.”
MPCC’s internal tests are an important part of the organisation’s policy since its foundation in 2007. A rider from a MPCC team isn’t allowed to take any corticoids, even for medical reasons, in an eight-day window before a race.
Legeay picked up on the fact that there is now a UCI rule which bans corticoids, two days before a competition. He cites another idea launched by the MPCC and then accepted by the UCI: the points’ penalty in the World ranking, in case a team has got a positive case.
“We hope more teams join the MPCC”, Legeay said. “That’s said, we don’t pretend the teams which don't belong to our association do wrong while we do well. We are modest because one of our team potentially can have a positive rider by one day. Our motto is: We do what we say, we say what we do.”
Also a member of the UCI ProTour Council since 2009, Legeay was a team manager from 1983 to 2008. His last squad, the Crédit Agricole, includes 19 riders from this year’s Tour de France’s peloton.
Two of former Legeay’s protégés have taken stages, Garmin-Cervélo’s Thor Hushovd (in Lourdes and Pinerolo) and Europcar’s Pierre Rolland (in Alpe d’Huez).
“That’s not really a surprise”, Legeay said. “We already knew Thor was very strong as he won five stages and two green jerseys when he raced for us. Pierre is very talented too. He showed himself at the Dauphiné in 2008 [aged 21 he went second on stage 4 and won the KOM jersey, Ed.] As he was very young I wanted him to develop and didn’t put him in the Tour de France.”