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UCI responds to French Senate doping report

Cycling News
July 24, 2013, 19:10,
July 24, 2013, 20:12
First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, July 25, 2013
Tour de France
The Tour de France peloton on another lap of the Champs-Élysées

The Tour de France peloton on another lap of the Champs-Élysées

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Governing organization says cycling has cleaned itself up

Following the French Senate's report, which listed positive and suspicious doping rider test results EPO at the 1998 Tour de France, the UCI issued the following statement:

"In recent years, cycling has been totally transformed. It is now possible to race and win clean and there is a new culture within the peloton where riders support and believe in clean cycling. Cycling now has the most sophisticated and effective anti-doping infrastructure in world sport. Today, cycling leads the way in the fight against doping in sport," said the UCI.

"In view of the revelations that were made over the past year it has become clear that in the late 1990s and early 2000s, many riders made bad choices during a very bad period for cycling.

"It is apparently in this context that the report, part of a French Senate inquiry on how effective the fight against doping has been in France, refers to the retesting of samples taken during the 1998 Tour de France.

"The UCI as well as other anti-doping organizations have all been aware of the fact that samples from the 1998 Tour de France were retested in 2004 for the purpose of a research programme. Since 2005, it has also been known that according to these research results a number of samples contained EPO.

"The retroactive testing of the 1998 Tour riders’ samples was carried out by the French laboratory as scientific research and not according to technical standards for anti-doping analyses. In addition, the principles of anonymity and prior consent from the riders for scientific analyses were not respected. The results therefore could not be accepted as valid proof in an anti-doping context - and the UCI could not open retrospective disciplinary proceedings.

"As it was not possible to prove that the riders concerned had doped and no B-analysis was available as a defense, the UCI considered it was not appropriate to disclose their names.

"In 1998, there was no test that could detect the use of EPO. The urinary EPO test was pioneered by the UCI and introduced in 2001. Today, cycling is ranked top out of all IFs in the number of out-of-completion tests it carries out. Last year, the UCI carried out a total of 14,168 anti-doping tests. This included 7,558 in-competition tests and 6,610 out-of-competition tests. Of these, 5,218 tests were carried out for the UCI’s blood passport program.

"Having made the above remarks UCI will study carefully the 60 proposals put forward by the report of the French Senate with a view to implementing those which can improve further the fight against doping

"This year the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) and the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) stepped up cooperation, efficiently combining expertise and resources to conduct anti-doping tests at the major races held in France, including the Tour de France. The high quality of the CADF’s work has been recognized independently recently when it received ISO certification.

"Many of our most respected top riders have all been strong public voices in confirming that today’s cycling has cleaned itself up."

Erik Jonsson More than 1 year ago
Uci excuses are on par with the doped riders, just slightly more eloquent
barn yard More than 1 year ago
cycling is so different these days, the average speeds and climbing times are much lower in the grand tours. we are in a credible era!
tommy_nickels More than 1 year ago
2001 average speed: 24. 8 mph 2004 average speed: 25.5 mph 2009 average speed: 25.1 mph 2013 average speed: 25.2 mph I never understood the average speed argument.
Lord.Bachus More than 1 year ago
Average cycling times dont say nothing indeed... it has been a tradition for quite some years to give the escapees room, then the escapees would lower their speed sto save energy and hope to make it to the finish, but this year for excampl, the escapees needed to ride from the go till they could no longer... because the sprinter teams kept the peloton at pace.. Race average speeds say more about strategy then about dope...
DeeCeeee More than 1 year ago
... and also TV coverage. The riders tend to ride harder once the cameras switch on and TV is providing longer coverage each year hence higher averages. That said, 25.2 mph - wow.
Terrence Martineau More than 1 year ago
Chris Froomea times in 2013 tour would have made him competitive in that EPO era.. likely could have won the tour back then... Not proof, but not a good sign...
Lord.Bachus More than 1 year ago
There is no proof and evidence of riders still using, not in the tests, not in the numbers.. The only thing visible in the course is certain riders and teams performing much much less then a few years ago. And riders switching teams either improving a lot or starting to underperform...
bikerbruce More than 1 year ago
How do some riders come on so strong in the third week? Hematocrit down. Two weeks of racing fatigue. And they get stronger? It's still happening.
richwallone More than 1 year ago
Yep, this gets me every time laughing when you hear that c**p from Paul and Phil on TV;) Yeah right, riders get stronger in the third week that's why they are 'true' GT contenders... on water, LOL;)
kdogg64 More than 1 year ago
Power ouput should decline as well, so it would be interesting to see Froome's power data. FYI: I believe several riders were caught using EPO this year, so it's still our there.
Snitor More than 1 year ago
Times? Not just Ax-3-Domaines time? Pretty sure 40+ on Alpe D'huez is not that good..
DeeCeeee More than 1 year ago
I think you have to look at a couple of other things as well. Firstly Armstrong and Pantani etc could have gone a lot faster. Watch back the coverage of the two of them on Ventoux and it looks like a club run. Compare that to Quintana this year. Secondly the blood doping and EPO has more comparative effect as the race goes on. Back in the Armstrong era they neer seemed to slow down week in week out whereas Froome was certainly weaker in the third week of this year's TDF. So Froome could produce exceptional short bursts of power in the first couple of weeks but this was waining by the end. Not proof but I certainly am seeing a different pattern to the riding from the Indurain / Armstrong era.
Chainstay99 More than 1 year ago
Likewise Quintana and Rodriguez. Why mention only Froome?
DeeCeeee More than 1 year ago
... because he is the one 99% of people accuse of doping...
indurain666 More than 1 year ago
Because unlike Quintana and Rodriguez, he went from mediocre pro racer to one of the best ever.
kdogg64 More than 1 year ago
I have suspicions that Rodriquez probably doped early in his career given the teams he raced on (ONCE). I'm also a bit surprized that a guy who is 34 looked stronger in the third than he did in the first week. Who really knows.
Broth3r More than 1 year ago
Using average speeds or single-climb times as an argument in doping matters is an anger point for me. For it to hold any value, we have to resign and accept that was it. That those speeds cannot be be attained ever again. That our performance on a bike, AS A SPECIES, has peaked. That thought is not tolerable.
Barry Johnson More than 1 year ago
This press release is McQuaid's reelection bid icing. Hope it doesn't work.
Niels Johan Thissen More than 1 year ago
Late 1990's - Yeah right...from the early 1990's on!....Once again the UCI is completely mistaken....Good 'ol Pat should be banned from the liquor store
Mgr Eightthree More than 1 year ago
Interesting that the French are not interested in going after professional soccer or tennis. I wonder why? The embarrassment here is that so many people are using PEDs and so few are caught. The ADAs of the world need to look to their own failures before criticizing others. And yes, Armstrong won seven Tours de France. And he won it against the best dopers in the world, right under WADA's and the French testers' noses.
Lord.Bachus More than 1 year ago
Hypocrits, all of them... its easy to blame cycling and then let all the other sports go free.. Doping is everywhere in top sports, and only cycling took measures so far against it, why is cycling the only sport with a bloodpasport?
Latvian More than 1 year ago
why bad, cycling now becomes the cleanest sport of all, who cares about tennis
azureskies More than 1 year ago
The high clean performance of Froome, proves, clean riders like LeMond, Indurain, and Froome have what it takes to win.
benzwire More than 1 year ago
richwallone More than 1 year ago
Really??? I always liked Indurain, a truly a gentleman professional and great rider... But, let's not kid ourselves;) He was on EPO, too...
MattCla More than 1 year ago
I agree. A great man but probably on the juice. That said, he would have likely won a clean tour too. 5 even.
Niels Johan Thissen More than 1 year ago
No way, with his weight he would not have been able to follow those lightweight climbers uphill that long...EPO made him a climber
rshimizu12 More than 1 year ago
There is no proof to show that Indurain doped. No positive blood or urine sample prove this.
Pete Low More than 1 year ago
This report only reinforces what we mostly already know. So how does it help? Does this report in any way encourage the top-down cultural shift that the sport could benefit from (if it's really needed)? 'They' tell us that things have changed, that this shouldn't reflect on the new generation and that things are different but I don't believe a word of it and why would they care whether I do or not? The fans are still out there, the money is still flowing and the sponsors are getting the coverage they're looking for. The only difference now is that there is a minority of people who are armed with a lot of data and visual evidence to back up what are now known to be doped performances. And that minority have a lot of different platforms from which to raise a voice .This forces the likes of Team Sky onto the back foot because for the first time they are being asked to back up performances that look really suspicious considering everything that is known. This report doesn't do Sky any favours because it only re-enforces that the sport was thoroughly messed up and no-one has done anything to suggest that it's any different now other than to simply say that it is. Brailsford wants to know what they can do to try to convince everyone that it has changed and I honestly don't think there is anything other than extremely drastic measures that will accomplish that. For me the most damning bit from this report is Bassons. He was a very outspoken anti-doping rider. There aren't many around and I know a lot of people would love it if we started to hear riders speaking up against each-other in some way about ped use but when you look at Bassons why would we even believe that now? There is no reason to believe anything anyone associated with professional cycling has to say anymore and that's crazy. There is literally a mountain of references that can be used to counter anything anyone tells us today. This is what Brailsford is up against. The waters have been completely poisoned. So get comfortable swimming in it or pull the plug and fill it up again. I honestly think that's where it is now. Anyway, not sure where I'm going with all of this other than to say that it doesn't look like despite the revelations of the past are going to change anything. So where does that leave it all?
Doughnut More than 1 year ago
There's a storm in Major League Baseball at the moment with a new lab and doctor found to be doping athletes. Alex Rodriguez is probably the biggest name implicated and faces a whole 100 game ban for repeated offending - that's probably his career over as he is 'old' but only reflects around 6 months of a season. I'd say cycling is at the top end of sports doing the most to combat drugs. I just wish McQuaid would stop claiming all the credit for it. And, if one day they find today's generation have been doped, the continual claims that today's riders are different to yesterday's riders will look maybe a tad silly? I blame the people that design the parcourse anyway......
aqua lung More than 1 year ago
CN-please provide a report of the proposals included in the report. i'm more interested in that information. thanks
helenawalker More than 1 year ago
McQuaid has to claim credit for any 'advances' in anti doping - he's trying to get re-elected. Time to clean cycling from the top - UCI level. Self policing seldom works. Lifetime bans & prison sentences - ENFORCED - would be the answer.