Drug testing for Gran Fondo New York
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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Drug testing for Gran Fondo New York

by VeloNation Press at 1:03 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Out of competition and post-event controls to be carried out

Gran Fondo New YorkAlthough drug testing is more usually associated with other types of events, the organisers of Gran Fondo New York have confirmed that the riders due to take part in next month’s event will be subject to doping controls.

In fact, some have already been carried out, with organisers stating today that out of competition testing has already been carried out by the US Anti Doping Agency. This took place on April 12th.

“At Gran Fondo New York we are committed to a drug free sport. For this year's event we allocated $10,000 towards the fight against doping,” said it’s CEO Uli Fluhme. “Anyone testing positive for a substance on the list of banned substances by World Anti Doping Association (WADA) will be banned for life from Gran Fondo New York. Plus, anyone who has ever been banned by a federation will not be allowed to compete. We are not afraid to take drastic measures to keep the competition at Gran Fondo New York clean.”

The ruling closes the door for participation by riders such as Jan Ullrich, who rode Gran Fondo Miami on November 20th. Since then he was given a two year ban by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in connection to his involvement in Operacion Puerto.

According to the organisers, it is the first time that doping controls will be in place for this style of event in the US. In addition to out of competition tests, there will also be samples taken on the day of Gran Fondo New York.

Gran Fondo races in Italy and elsewhere have reputations for having a lack of testing. In fact, several riders who have been suspended in the past have ridden such events, including Dario Frigo, Riccardo Ricco, Frank Vandenbroucke and Raimondas Rumšas.

This year’s Gran Fondo New York will take place on a 105 mile route and will include four timed climbs. These will be used to pinpoint which men and women are strongest out of the 5000 participants, getting King and Queen of the Mountains titles. Those victors will each get a $8,000 Pinarello racing bike equipped with Campagnolo components.

Organisers state that other prizes are also on offer, including Mavic racing wheels, Diadora shoes and Limar helmets. The total prize fund is over $100,000.

Testing will serve to deter people from taking shortcuts in pushing for those prizes.

“The overwhelming majority of cyclists applaud testing and would never take performance enhancing drugs,” said Fluhme. “It's a small number of riders that tarnish the reputation of the true sportsmen.

At Gran Fondo New York, we aim to preserve the integrity of competition, inspire true sport, and protect the rights of our athletes.”

Today's announcement follows on from several positives amongst amateurs in recent months. Three weeks ago masters rider Todd Robertson was handed a fifteen month suspension by USADA for using a banned oxygen-enhancing peptide hormone. He was given an out of competition test on February 11th 2011, and this led to his positive case.


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