The UCI will know if their Tour de France anti-doping tests have uncovered any further positive cases within the next few days.
The sport’s governing body – in conjunction with the AFLD – ran this year’s anti-doping tests. Alexandr Kolobnev tested positive for a diuretic hydrochlorothiazide (HCT) in the first week of racing.
UCI President, Pat McQuaid, confirmed that all tests carried out since had returned no positive samples but that he was still waiting for results from the last two days of racing.
“Not all the results are in yet. We’re still waiting for tests from the last couple of days,” McQuaid told Cyclingnews.
“The testing went very well and we had a good working relationship during the Tour de France. I met the president of the AFLD yesterday and he indicated that he was very happy with how the cooperation worked as well. That’s progress.”
2011 has been heralded as a ‘cleaner Tour’ after a number of commentators drew hope from slower performances and riders appearing more fatigued at the end of stages. While McQuaid welcomed such talk he erred on the side of caution.
“It’s hard to know if it’s true. I prefer to look at the Tour as a magnificent and exciting race with lots of drama and huge public interest. There are indications, certainly, from the results, and when you look at the performances that this was a cleaner Tour. That won’t change the UCI’s future strategy and to continue with a zero tolerance policy and find ways to regain cycling’s credibility. You don’t regain credibility with one event and it’s a work in progress.”
"We don’t discuss any of the details of the anti-doping programme. Strategies we’ve used at the Tour might be used again in the future."
McQuaid corrects Schleck
During the Tour Andy Schleck spoke out about the number of tests he received in a 12-hour window – he claimed to have been tested three times in such a period. However McQuaid told Cyclingnews that the Tour runner-up was tested 3 times within 24 hours and that the amount of tests were justified but that their frequency should not be speculated over.
“Each of those tests was done for a reason. The UCI and the AFLD did all three of them but each one was different and each one was for a different reason. I saw the accusation and I checked up on it internally and it was explained to me and it was quite reasonable,” McQuaid told Cyclingnews.
“We can test any riders, at any time and the samples can go to any laboratory. It stands to reason that riders in the top five at the Tour de France will be targeted. That doesn’t suggest anything. There’s no indication of any doping, not at all.”
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Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at Cyclingnews.com between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.