UCI wants blood passports to help combat doping

Anti-doping leader Anne Gripper told Eurosport Wednesday that the UCI would like to collect...

Anti-doping leader Anne Gripper told Eurosport Wednesday that the UCI would like to collect "biological passports" for all ProTour racers and used the in the fight against doping beginning in 2008. It's another effort in the fight to improve anti-doping testing and cycling's image by establishing a test history that will be used to highlight any abnormalities including haemoglobin and haematocrit levels.

"What in effect it means is that the rider becomes his own reference point," Gripper said. "We look for variations in a rider's individual profile to determine whether there may be some indication of using a prohibited method or a prohibited substance."

The passports would provide baseline information that could be used to help detect cheating efforts such as blood doping.

"What we're looking for is indirect evidence of the fact that cyclists may be doing something to increase the oxygen-carrying capacity of their blood either through blood doping or through small doses of EPO or something like that," Gripper said.

Blood passports will be up for discussion at the World Antidoping Agency (WADA) summit scheduled for October 22-23 in Paris, France. Such a method could be in place in time for the Tour de France and several teams like Team CSC, Slipstream and Plowman Craven are already using similar anti-doping programs.

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