For the second year in a row the UCI will not carry out any blood tests at the Amgen Tour of California. The blood tests form part of the UCI’s Biological Passport programme. This year, as in 2011, out of competition testing has been carried out by USADA while the UCI has confirmed to Cyclingnews that standard EPO urine tests will be carried out at the 8-day race.
A UCI spokesperson said, “I've been told we will do all the controls foreseen by UCI anti-doping rules. Some urine samples will be checked for EPO.
“For USADA, no cooperation is planned, but they will be allowed according to the rules to make out-of-competition tests until tonight at midnight.”
A USADA spokesperson confirmed their plans to Cyclingnews earlier in the week.
“USADA is conducting the out-of-competition testing program for riders under USADA’s jurisdiction prior to the Tour of California. We are not conducting the in-competition testing program at the event.”
The UCI told Cyclingnews that although no blood tests would be carried out during the race that their Biological Passport system would not be effected. The governing body of cycling has repeatedly stressed that due to its new format of 'intelligent' and targeted testing in cycling, that controls were sufficient. However, targeted testing has been seen as a smoke screen for less testing by some.
Last year Michael Ashenden told Cyclingnews that he had seen several gaps in biological profile tests carried out by the UCI. He did admit that this may have been due to targeted testing, but said he had not been made aware of any such plans by the UCI. Ashenden resigned from the UCI Passport panel earlier this year.