The UCI's new biological passport anti-doping system is steadily gaining more data on riders, but any sanctions based on the blood profiling system will have to wait until later in the season, the organisation's anti-doping manager Anne Gripper told Cyclingnews. Following a May announcement that 23 riders showed abnormal blood values, fingers began to be pointed, but Gripper denied that these riders were being considered 'suspicious'.
"We're not treating the 23 riders as suspicious. Their values were simply different from the norm," Gripper said. "They could all have naturally high values."
She also denied that the 23 were being singled out for targeted testing, and explained that the profiles of all riders would be built upon over the next few months. "These riders are being tested in the same way as every other rider on the programme too. So by the end of the year we'll have aimed to have tested every rider the same number of times."
A Belgian newspaper reported that the number of abnormal values had risen to 31, but Gripper discounted the story. "I don't know where the number of 31 comes from," she said.
Urging patience with the system, which examines a rider's blood and urine profiles over time to detect the effects of doping, Gripper assured that there wouldn't be any doping bombs dropping on the Tour de France from the biological passport programme. "We're certainly not sitting on any information with the plan of making it public during the Tour. When we're ready, we will make the announcement."
"This isn't a quick fix measure, we're working for the long term health of the sport so we'll only announce any form of doping , if that's the case, when we're ready."