By Shane Stokes
Former arch-rivals Pat McQuaid and Dick Pound today held a joint press conference to announce a UCI-WADA initiative against doping. This latest move comes just a matter of weeks after extensive new programme unveiled by the UCI and, according to both, will have a serious deterrent effect on those seeking to work with doctors such as Eufemiano Fuentes in the future.
Rather than introduce even more tests for the riders or call for more police raids, the new project is even more cunning. Over a period of a few months, private investigators will be used to catalogue the names of each and every pet [dog or otherwise] owned by professional and top under 23 riders.
"We've been hearing about Birillo, Piti, Mimi and Foofoo for months," said a WADA official, "and, frankly, it's embarrassing. Athletes had found a way around the system but now we are going to be one step ahead from this point on."
The UCI added that it has opened up communications with veterinarians around the world, in the hope that they will pass on their records and help in cataloguing the names. In addition, they will act as informants in the event that frightened riders attempt to have the animals euthanized, so as to remove themselves from this surefire method of detection.