The UCI announced on Friday that its Management Committee has agreed to shift anti-doping activities away from the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation – the sport's independent anti-doping wing since 2008 – to the International Testing Agency, a multi-sport independent group established in 2018.
The UCI first investigated the shift after Operation Aderlass – an Austrian investigation that resulted in six top riders being sanctioned – highlighted the ongoing doping problem in professional cycling. The UCI wrote that the "Aderlass investigation shows one more time that doping knows no boundaries, neither between sports nor countries" whilst announcing a proposed collaboration with ITA.
The CADF vehemently objected to being pushed aside, arguing that the ITA would devote fewer resources specifically to cycling while having agreements with many other sports.
The UCI drew up an agreement with the ITA to create a "dedicated cycling unit" and to offer all CADF employees the opportunity to join this unit, and to dedicate any funding that teams and races are obliged to contribute to anti-doping activities to the dedicated group.
The Management Committee this week approved the transfer starting January 1, 2021, with the dedicated cycling unit to be "mainly composed of former CADF employees", according to Friday's press release and specified that all contributions from cycling's stakeholders will be used exclusively for cycling anti-doping programmes.
The unit "will take care of the implementation of the UCI’s anti-doping programme, with the support and expertise of all departments of the ITA".
The Funding Committee, previously a part of the CADF and with representatives from the UCI, AIGCP and CPA teams organisations and the AIOCC race organisers group, will continue to oversee the use of funds for cycling anti-doping activities.
UCI President David Lappartient said, “I am also pleased with the approval of the contract between the UCI and the ITA. This is the last formal step towards the transfer of our anti-doping operational activities to the ITA as of 1st January 2021.”
The CADF has been hampered in its anti-doping testing by the worldwide COVID-19 coronavirus travel restrictions, but is due to resume testing when races start up again in July or August. The CADF will make a statement regarding its recent testing activities "at a later stage".
The next UCI Management Committee meeting will take place on 22-24 September 2020 in Montreux (Switzerland) during the Aigle-Martigny 2020 UCI Road World Championships.
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