USADA and the UCI confirm drug testing plan at Tour of California

USADA run pre-competition tests

Cyclingnews can reveal that USADA and the CADF failed to agree on USADA’s preferred option of a desired testing programme for this year’s Tour of California, but that independent efforts will ensure that the race has both a pre-competition and in-competition testing programme.

USADA, who ran the pre-competition testing programme at the race in 2013 pushed for a slot to run drug testing during the race. However they could not agree terms with the UCI and then independent arm of their drug testing, the CADF, due to how the in-competition testing data would be shared and analysed.

"At the request of the organisers, we conducted the pre-competition testing program for the Tour of California,”" a USADA spokesperson told Cyclingnews this week.

"We hoped to conduct the in-competition program as well, but the UCI Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) would not agree to share with us the results of all the samples we would have collected, which made it impossible for us to implement the type of independent, transparent and robust in-competition program this event deserves."

Cyclingnews understands that the race organisers were pushing for the most stringent testing programme possible. However the relationship between the UCI and USADA hasn’t always been cordial. In May 2011 the UCI scrapped USADA’s plans of testing at the race after comments made by Travis Tygart angered former UCI President Pat McQuaid. USADA’s relationship with the UCI deteriorated further during the US Postal investigation but shoots of hope blossomed after Brian Cookson replaced McQuaid at the head of the sport’s governing body.

Cyclingnews contacted the UCI for comment in regards to the drug testing taking place in California. At first they were unwilling to comment but they revised their position, sending Cyclingnews the following statement.

"As the authority responsible, under the WADA Code, for anti-doping for events on its international calendar including the Amgen Tour of California, the UCI is very pleased with the cooperation received from USADA."

“For the Tour of California, USADA and CADF, who organise and carry out the tests for the UCI, have been sharing strategic information concerning the pre- and in-competition testing plan, as it is common practice with other national anti-doping organisations.

"USADA carried out the pre-competition tests, and the CADF are doing all the in-competition tests, as it did last year on the Tour of California.

"The actual nature of the samples taken and to be taken by the CADF cannot be made public."

USADA were willing to confirm that their pre-competition tests covered EPO, blood and urine samples.

When we asked the UCI as to why they were unwilling to allow USADA to run the in-competition testing, they replied: "As per the data sharing framework as established by WADA and the applicable data protection legislation, the UCI is only authorised to share with a NADO the results of samples from riders affiliated to the country in question but not samples from riders from other countries over which a NADO doesn’t have overall jurisdiction."

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