UCI: Budget shortfall did not compromise blood passport testing in 2010

The UCI has denied that funding constraints had a direct impact on the validity of the blood passport in 2010.

The governing body's statement has come in response to a Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) report from 2010 leaked last week by lobby group Change Cycling Now. The meeting minutes revealed that a budget shortfall in 2009 of 640,000 Swiss Francs would result in less testing the following year.

"Following budget cuts, the testing program for 2010 has been reduced, especially for the 'older' riders with also a reduction in the number of tests until later this year," said CADF director Dr. Francesca Rossi in the minutes.

The UCI claims that the number of tests taken in 2010, did not compromise the program due to the fact that in the two years prior, a "high number of tests" were conducted when the passport was introduced.

The definition of the term 'older riders' has been taken out of context," explained the UCI. "It is not based on age. It refers to riders that have been in the passport programme and therefore have been tested for a longer period of time as opposed to riders who are newly introduced to the programme.

"A sufficiently high number of tests were conducted on riders who were new to the programme in 2010 in order to establish their profile. The UCI is entirely satisfied that more than enough tests were conducted in 2010 in order to maintain a robust blood passport programme. No decision was ever taken to suspend testing. The financial constraints that existed in 2010 had no detrimental effect on the blood passport."

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