Details of Team CSC's anti-doping program have been revealed. In the wake of terminating the contract of Ivan Basso, Bjarne Riis, in conjunction with Danish anti-doping expert Rasmus Damsgaard, has established a new set of testing protocols for CSC. Yesterday the specifics of the program, originally launched in September, were described to team riders via e-mail according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.
The new anti-doping concept was born after the Tour de France, when it looked like the team could possibly lose it title sponsor, CSC, an IT company based in the USA. The program will see up to 800 out-of-competition competition controls and it will start in December, running through the 2007 year. Doctor Damsgaard will be assisted by an independent scientific team of four based in Copenhagen.
The CSC riders will be constantly monitored, looking for the presence of EPO, Nesp, evidence of blood transfusions and significant changes in hormone profiles. There will not be DNA testing; Damsgaard considers DNA to be unnecessary for anti-doping and only useful in investigations, like Operación Puerto.
The results of the checks will be kept in a data bank that will be made available to the UCI and WADA upon request and, at the end of the 2007 season, a dossier of results will be provided to the press. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, this ambitious project will cost CSC more than €500,000 to carry out.
"I am not worried because I have trust in the boys that are with us [in the team]," explained the Danish team manager, Riis, to the Italian paper. "Undergoing the controls is the only way to demonstrate that we are clean. Even doing this, I am certain we will win. We have to restore credibility in cycling. We have made a lot of errors in the past and we don't want these to occur again."
"I am happy to take my work into cycling with a high-level team," added Damsgaard, who has worked with cross-country skiing in the past. "Racing today is very dangerous because of the great risks linked with certain substances. Helping to avoid doping will be my objective."
The riders, after receiving the detailed email regarding the new anti-doping program, will be further briefed at a training cape in South Africa (December 4 - 15).
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