Anti-doping testing to increase at top-tier USA Cycling events in 2013

(Image credit: USADA)

US Race promoters and teams will combine with USA Cycling (USAC) next season to fund a US Anti-Doping Agency-based program to expand anti-doping testing at all top-tier USAC events throughout all disciplines.

Organizers of UCI cyclo-cross races in the US received an email last week informing them they will pay an extra fee per event day next season to help fund expanded anti-doping tests as part of the new program being put together by USAC and USADA.

"Details will be coming soon," wrote USAC Vice President of National Events Micah Rice in an email dated Nov. 20. "But the way it impacts you is that we will be asking for $800 from each UCI event day to put toward a fund that will pay for anti-doping at a large number of cyclo-cross events in 2013-2014. USA Cycling will be matching the entire amount we get from the events, and we are hoping that we will be able to test between 30% and 50% of all UCI events next season."

The issue was discussed earlier this fall during the USAC's recent promoter and team summits and was well received, Rice told Cyclingnews Saturday. He confirmed that road and mountain bike promoters would be participating in the program as well.

"All of the pro road teams that were represented agreed that they would contribute to the fund. That was a unanimous decision by the teams," Rice said. "The majority of the race directors thought that was really good idea as well, and anyone who is part of that top-tier calendar is going to be part of that. And yes, there will be matching funds from USA Cycling."

Rice informed promoters in the Nov. 20 email that some of the money would be used to cover the A and B UCI anti-doping lists, so that individual promoters did not face the possibility of paying as much as $6,000 if their event was to be randomly selected for anti-doping tests. Rice told Cyclingnews that it was too early to release more details, but he did emphasize that it would be a USADA-based program rather than being run through the UCI.

"People seem to be pretty excited about it," Rice said. "We've heard from very few people who don't want to be a part of it. I think people understand that we're in this together. For a lot of people this is what they do for a living, so I think everyone understands that we've all got to come together on this one, and I think this one that everyone will come together on."

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Growing up in Missoula, Montana, Pat competed in his first bike race in 1985 at Flathead Lake. He studied English and journalism at the University of Oregon and has covered North American cycling extensively since 2009, as well as racing and teams in Europe and South America. Pat currently lives in the US outside of Portland, Oregon, with his imaginary dog Rusty.