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Cavendish says night time doping controls are no problem

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Mark Cavendish celebrates on the podium in Salamanca.

Mark Cavendish celebrates on the podium in Salamanca. (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Mark Cavendish presents one of his HTC-Columbia jerseys

Mark Cavendish presents one of his HTC-Columbia jerseys (Image credit: Braveheart Fund)
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Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) put in a fine sprint in Salamanca.

Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) put in a fine sprint in Salamanca. (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)

There may be a groundswell of opinion against night-time doping controls within the peloton, but Mark Cavendish has always been one to go his own way. The HTC-Columbia sprinter has said that the overnight controls are acceptable, as long as they are applied equally.

“We have to do anything we can to eliminate doping in cycling, so I'm ok with it,” he told TV2 Sporten, a Danish television show. “Of course it can disturb sleep and so affect your race performance. But as long as it is done equally for all, then it's ok.”

The World Anti-Doping Agency had recommended that doping controls be conducted at “less acceptable hours” in order to catch substances or methods “with short detection windows.” Currently, testing is not conducted between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Most riders have spoken out against the night-time testing. “Not letting us sleep at night seems obsessive,” said Italian national champion Giovanni Visconti. Vuelta a Espana Vincenzo Nibali jokingly suggested that anti-doping inspectors “can sleep in our room.”

Team Sky's Thomas Löfkvist said that the test might be necessary, but that further consideration was necessary, as the riders' sleep is very important.