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Germans claim first DNA contracts

By Susan Westemeyer

Italian team Amore & Vita-McDonald's recently announced that Ruslan Ivanov was the first rider to sign a contract which included obligatory DNA testing. Not so, the two German ProTour teams told German cycling website Radsport-aktiv. Many of Gerolsteiner's riders have signed such contracts, the team said, and T-Mobile claimed all of its 29 riders have DNA testing clauses in their contracts.

The International Association of Professional Cycling Teams (AIGCP) asked the riders to authorize the UCI to collect their DNA samples and called for new professionals as of 2007 to automatically authorise the collection of their DNA.

"The first rider for us was Stefan Schumacher, who extended his contract at the end of September," said Gerolsteiner spokesman Jörg Grünefeld. "And naturally the DNA clause will be added to existing contracts." The team had planned to insert the DNA clause in the contracts even without the ProTour teams' decision, he added. However, team manager Hans-Michael Holczer noted that riders with existing contracts could not be forced to have them adapted to add the DNA clause.

T-Mobile announced in September that all of its riders' contracts would contain mandatory DNA sampling, and according to spokesman Stefan Wagner, all 29 riders have signed such contracts. "For us, that was independent of the ProTour teams' decision," he stated. "All of our riders support our anti-doping policy."

The Italian-German ProTour team, Milram, on the other hand, said "DNA tests are not an explicit part of our contracts." Team Manager Gerry van Gerwen explained, "We refer in our contracts to the Code of Ethics and the 'Accord Paritaire', the agreement between the riders' union and the AIGCP."

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