International Cycling Union (UCI) anti-doping head Anne Gripper has come under pressure from antidoping advocates who wish to see the organisation's new biological passport programme begin to catch cheaters. Cyclingnews' Bruce Hildenbrand caught up with the Australian to find out about the status of the groundbreaking antidoping effort.
With riders like Riccardo Riccò making it to the Tour de France still bold enough to use new versions of EPO, the UCI's biological passport is seen as the one system which should deter riders from doping. However, even though the agency has collected enough data on the ProTour and wild card team riders to generate complete profiles, and passed a "no start rule" for riders with suspicious values, no rider has even been kept out of competition or punished for doping based on the passport data.
The UCI's antidoping head Anne Gripper understands that people are anxious to see action. "I know it is a little bit frustrating that we have gotten to this point and haven't actually opened any cases," Gripper said of her less than year-old system. "But it is a new ground-breaking program. We have to be really careful, really cautious that when we do open some cases they stand up to the legal and scientific scrutiny that they will definitely be subjected to.
Continue to the full Gripper interview