Tension builds between ASO and UCI

ASO president Patrice Clerc

ASO president Patrice Clerc (Image credit: AFP)

Governing body to update AIGCP on fight against doping

By Shane Stokes

The ongoing rift between the UCI and ASO appears to be no closer to a resolution with the news that the latter body has declined to invite president Pat McQuaid to the 2007 Tour de France presentation on Thursday, and has also refused to partake in ongoing discussions on the way forward in the fight against drug use in the sport.

The battle against doping will be amongst the subjects to be discussed at the Annual General Meeting of the AIGCP (Association Internationale des Groupes Cyclistes Professionnels), to be held on Wednesday in Paris.

The manager of the UCI’s antidoping department, Mrs. Anne Gripper, will give a presentation about the current direction of the efforts, covering areas which include the modification of existing rules and an outline of the studies which are currently being made. UCI President Pat McQuaid will also be in attendance and will speak with key players in the AIGCP on this and other subjects.

In the aftermath of the Landis affair, the UCI set up an in-depth audit of the sport and the factors which may contribute to doping in cycling. The meeting will give an update as to the progress of this study, as well as discussions of other measures such as the possible introduction of compulsory DNA profiling, longitudinal health studies and a toughening of the existing tests which are in place.

It is understood that the UCI has already commissioned anti-doping experts to look into these areas, particularly DNA testing, and an update of this situation is expected to be given. Meanwhile the top teams are expected to reaffirm their commitment to the ProTour Code of Ethics at the meeting.

Tensions continue to build

The UCI issued a press release on Tuesday relating to the AIGCP meeting, in which the governing body outlined its strong disappointment with the ASO decision.

“The UCI states that a proposal for collaboration in the fight against doping which was recently addressed to ASO, the organisers of the Tour de France, was curtly refused,” stated the release. “The UCI strongly deplores this action."

To read the full news feature, click here.

Cyclingnews will provide complete coverage the 2007 Tour de France route when it is unveiled Thursday.

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