As part of a new joint agreement, the UCI will collaborate with the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation and the US Anti-Doping Agency this year at the Tour of California to conduct both in- and out-of-competition testing for all the competitors, according to an announcement today from the UCI.
In addition to the standard battery of tests performed under the World Anti-Doping Agency code, certain samples will also be selected for special analysis that includes the CIR test for synthetic testosterone and tests for CERA and hGH.
The Tour of California came under criticism in 2006 for not performing tests for EPO, one of its title sponsor's main money-making products, or not performing blood analysis in 2007 and 2011. Organizers wished to bring in USADA to perform more extensive testing last year, but USADA could not come to an agreement with the CADF and UCI.
UCI President Brian Cookson said the move is part of its commitment to strengthen its relationship with national anti-doping organizations. “This agreement with USADA for the 2015 Amgen Tour of California is a new important step forward after previous collaborations set with NADOs from Switzerland, France, and the UK among others," Cookson stated. "We truly believe that an effective fight for a clean sport can only be achieved through joining forces.”
The samples may also be used as part of both USADA and the UCI’s Biological Passport programs, and urine and blood samples collected may also be stored for up to 10 years, under the rules of the World Anti-Doping Code, so that, in the event of new testing methods, samples can be re-evaluated.
“Global collaboration is a vital part of the work we all do in the anti-doping movement,” said USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart. “The UCI and the CADF’s willingness to work in partnership with national anti-doping organizations is a strong demonstration of the current UCI leadership’s commitment to moving the sport forward from the past, and we look forward to continuing to work with them in the future for the benefit of all clean athletes.”
CADF Director Francesca Rossi said working with national anti-doping organisations is a key part of his group’s longterm strategy for implementing anti-doping controls in cycling.
“I am therefore very pleased with the partnership between the CADF, USADA and the UCI for the 2015 Amgen Tour of California,” Rossi said. “It will allow us to pool various resources including manpower for in- and out-of-competition testing but also, importantly, to share intelligence data for the benefit of the overall testing program.”