By Shane Stokes
Whether or not the ProTour teams take part in Paris-Nice, the UCI is pressing ahead with its plans to launch its new anti-doping programme in the French capital on March 9th. Few details have emerged about the measures, which have come about in response to the Operación Puerto and Floyd Landis scandals of last season, but the UCI has said that it will be the most complete and stringent anti-doping programme in the history of sport.
Two of the procedures which are believed to be part of the programme are blood volume testing and examination for traces of growth hormone. Unconfirmed rumours are circulating that ProTour teams will be asked to each contribute €30,000 towards the cost of the programme, with race organisers and Continental Professional teams also required to pay a sum.
Pat McQuaid did not comment on the specific amounts each group would be putting in, but he did confirm that the cost would be spread between different bodies within the sport. "All of the stakeholders in the ProTour will be funding it;" he stated. "The teams, the riders, the organisers and the UCI. They will all be contributing.
"This is on top of the anti-doping measures already in place; this is purely a ProTour programme aimed at the teams and riders of the ProTour and those outside [Continental Professional teams] that who would possibly ride some ProTour events."
Cyclingnews will feature more details of the new anti-doping measures when they become available.