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ASO wants AFLD to run testing at Paris-Nice and beyond

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The doping control van is hard to miss.

The doping control van is hard to miss.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Christian Prudhomme announces the route of the 2012 Paris-Nice

Christian Prudhomme announces the route of the 2012 Paris-Nice
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Tour director Christian Prudhomme expects AFLD to announce more positive controls

Tour director Christian Prudhomme expects AFLD to announce more positive controls
(Image credit: AFP)
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Christian Prudhomme oversees the start

Christian Prudhomme oversees the start
(Image credit: ASO)
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Riccardo Riccò kicked off the CERA circus during this year's Tour

Riccardo Riccò kicked off the CERA circus during this year's Tour
(Image credit: AFP)

The Amaury Sport Organisation has indicated that it is hoping to secure the services of the French anti-doping Authority (AFLD) for testing procedures starting with this year’s Paris-Nice as well as other events run in France.

"We would like the AFLD to be there and more generally but obviously it won't just be for this year," Christian Prudhomme told AFP. "We need to have a truly independent anti-doping body which has nothing to do with federations and which oversees all disciplines.

"It's difficult to be both judge and jury," he said.

Such a move harks back to 2008 when the AFLD was brought in at the Tour de France to manage doping controls as opposed to the UCI. That year the AFLD uncovered the use of a novel blood booster known as CERA, and was able to find a number of riders positive during and after the race.

When the UCI took over the following year in 2009, then-AFLD president Pierre Bordry was critical of the UCI's controllers, accusing them of favoritism toward Lance Armstrong's Astana team.

The UCI responded by allowing the independent observers in the 2010 edition. The only doping positive from the 2010 event was Alberto Contador who last year after a long legal battle was finally stripped of his yellow jersey.

Prudhomme also mooted the possibility that WADA could oversee testing within the sport.

Meantime Prudhomme has ruled out a return of national teams to the Tour de France following a proposal from the French Cycling Federation (FFC).

"I'll say it again, we're fond of our sponsored teams," said Prudhomme. "There are now some sponsored teams that resemble national ones. For me, a return to national teams is a bit of an old chestnut.

"It was great but I'm not convinced that it's a solution for the future."