UCI President Pat McQuaid has responded to the comments made by Italian anti-doping investigator Ettore Torri that doping is still widespread in cycling despite a string of high-profile doping cases and the introduction of the UCI’s Biological Passport programme.
In an interview with the Associated Press news agency, Torri said: “The longer I’m involved in this, the more I marvel at how widespread doping is. And I don’t think it will be eradicated. Because it just evolves continuously. There are new substances coming out that can’t be tested for.”
In a statement issued to Italian media in Italian, McQuaid said Torri’s comments caused profound disappointment and dismay. But said they would not deter the UCI from fighting doping in the sport.
"At a time when cycling is paying a very high price for its determined and constant commitment in the fight against doping, the allegations by the CONI (Italian Olympic Committee) prosecutor Ettore Torri can only spark a reaction of profound disappointment and dismay in all of those who practice and who love this sport,” the statement reads.
McQuaid claimed the UCI has taken a lead in the fight against doping.
“The effectiveness of the action taken by the UCI to combat this real problem – which is common to all sports - has been repeatedly recognised by the most important institutions in sport, including the International Olympic Committee and World Anti-Doping Agency, who we co-operate with very closely.”
“If the complex anti-doping system in the world of sport today has reached its current levels of efficiency and reliability, it is thanks to the work done in cycling, which was the first sport to introduce a test for EPO and then the biological passport.”
The UCI President also said Torri’s accusations lacked objectivity and refuted the work of the current anti-doping measures used.
“Claiming that all cyclists dope not only launches a serious and even shameful accusation that is entirely devoid of any objective evidence but also refutes the validity of the anti-doping controls currently in force. Especially considering the painful, but absolutely transparency of the results obtained so far.”
“In recent years, the mentality and behavior of the vast majority of cyclists has undergone a profound change that everybody has been able to understand. Despite this, the problem of doping has not been completely eradicated, nor perhaps will ever be. However taking an incomprehensible and irresponsible position, without the needed objectivity and determination to fight the problem, such as Ettore Torri has done, with will not deter us from fighting, by every means and great honesty, any form of cheating in sport.”