The French Anti-Doping Agency AFLD wants to conduct its own doping tests at the upcoming Tour de France, even though the International Cycling Union UCI will be in charge at the international event.
According to the World Anti-Doping Agency WADA, a national anti-doping agnecy has the right to perform additional tests at an international competition held on its territory, and AFLD president Pierre Bordry intends to take advantage of this rule.
"We are a national agency, so we not in charge of international competitions, but we have the right to ask for additional controls," explained Pierre Bordry. "Therefore, we have the intention of requesting them, in accordance with the rules."
The Executive Committee of WADA clarified this rule in a meeting in Montreal earlier this month, according to which the AFLD must make an official request at the UCI no later than 35 days before the beginning of the Tour de France, July 3 in Rotterdam. If this request is refused - as was the case earlier this year regarding Paris-Nice - the AFLD may appeal to WADA 21 days prior to the start.
AFLD and UCI have been at odds with each other since last year's Tour de France, where both institutions collaborated to perform anti-doping controls. Bordry accused the UCI of preferential treatment of the Astana team, and claimed that urine samples were not transported and stored in correct conditions.
The UCI fired back at the AFLD's accusations, stating that they did not intend to work with the French agency at the 2010 Tour de France. "We're not going to work with somebody who we have lost complete confidence in. Somebody, who, from our point of view is out to damage cycling and indeed to damage the Tour de France by his actions," UCI president Pat McQuaid said.
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