By John Trevorrow in Mezzocorona
The recent raids by the Nas (Nucleo Anti-Stupefacente) Carabinieri on the Davitamon-Lotto and Saunier Duval teams have been met with almost universal condemnation from the riders, teams, organisers and other officialdom involved with the Giro d'Italia and cycling in general. The products seized, which include an Alti-Trainer (a hypoxic device for simulating high altitude) and sugar solution, are not illegal under UCI/WADA rules, but Italian law is apparently stricter with regard to any performance enhancing methods for sports.
Cyclingnews spoke to Cofidis team member Matthew White at the start of Stage 13 about the latest raids, and White's opinion was clear. "They're chasing these little things, like the medications for certain things. The [altitude] machine equates to if you go to high altitude. So if you live in Ethiopia, you're not allowed to race? When you come in after a six hour stage, glucose is the best way to recover.
"Some of these medications in Italy are only for sick people. Is a doctor not allowed to carry these on tour? When you are starting to get a bit tired, aren't you getting a bit sick? Bike riders get sick same as everyone else.
"It's very vague on what you can take, and what you can't take. They're saying you can't take injections, but the rule is very vague. They should be getting serious and getting the test right for the serious drugs in sport, not fiddling around on the edges, chasing things that aren't important. It's absolutely ridiculous. Where's the line? They certainly don't know where it is."