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WADA may send independent observers to the Tour de France
The bitter war of words between the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) continues, with AFLD president Pierre Bordry now questioning the effectiveness of the UCI Biological Passport as he hopes to get permission from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to carry out extra anti-doing tests during the Tour de France.
Bordry spoke to German television ZDF earlier this week, saying UCI ant-doping controls at the Tour de France were "predictable and ineffective", which in turn was qualified as "pure bullshit" by UCI president Pat McQuaid to Cyclingnews. Bordry responded on Thursday while he attending a scientific symposium on doping.
"I don't think the biological passport is useful," Bordry told AP. "What we need is neutral information on biological data. And we need a biological passport that is absolutely transparent to target riders. Everybody should deserve the same treatment."
Bordry has been very critical of the UCI's work in recent years, but the conflict escalated last year when the Frenchman accused UCI drug testers of favouring Lance Armstrong's former team Astana during the 2009 Tour. Both institutions shared the responsibility for anti-doping controls at the 2009 Tour de France but this year the UCI will be solely in charge of drug testing and refuse to work with the AFLD. The French agency has asked WADA to allow it to perform additional controls at the Tour de France. WADA's decision is expected next week, the WADA spokesman Fréderic Donzé told Cyclingnews.
"McQuaid asked us to keep our mouths shut because we are incompetent," Bordry said. "Let's wait and see what WADA will say. I can understand that an international federation is in charge but it has to be transparent and to give guarantees."
WADA Independent Observers
Donzé revealed to Cyclingnews that WADA and UCI were currently discussing the presence of Independent Observers from WADA at the race.
"WADA now has to figure out if we can find a deal," Bordry continued. "But we need guarantees. Last year we had problems every day. We are not going to revive a situation like in 2009. But if we are not there, police forces will be there (to catch cheating riders)."
One big issue between the AFLD and UCI has been the sharing of the Whereabouts data of the riders. Bordry accused McQuaid of refusing to share the data with the AFLD in 2009 and 2010, but the Irishman refuted this.
Bordry said the French anti-doping agency is working in unison with its American counterpart USADA. "They gave us information about American riders training in France," Bordry said. "They gave us the assignment to perform controls on them. This is a very good thing that national agencies can cooperate."