UCI open to negotiations over women’s Tour of New Zealand but says conditions have to be met
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Thursday, December 13, 2012

UCI open to negotiations over women’s Tour of New Zealand but says conditions have to be met

by Shane Stokes at 4:24 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Drug Free Sport New Zealand denies delay in sending documents

Drug Free Sport New ZealandResponding to the reports that the women’s Tour of New Zealand has been abandoned this year due to the increased costs of drug testing on the race, the UCI has explained its position in the matter and said that it is open to discussions to try to remedy the situation.

However while race director Jorge Sandoval told VeloNation that he was relieved to hear that the governing body could be prepared to negotiate, he has said that he believes it is likely too late to salvage the women’s event for 2013 and that 2014 may be more realistic.

The issue became apparent earlier this week when Sandoval told stuff.co.nz that the UCI would no longer allow the national anti-doping agency Drug Free Sport New Zealand to carry out the controls in the race. “This means they will sent a UCI drugs inspector to New Zealand, we will have to import all testing devices from overseas, do at least 20 tests during the five days of racing, get a license to export human samples overseas, send all samples to a laboratory in Sydney to be tested all at our cost, this is approximately $30,000 per event.”

He said that the same costs would apply to the men’s race and with the budget stretched too tight to cover both events, that the women’s race would have to be cancelled.

Speaking to VeloNation on Wednesday, UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani explained why the governing body had shifted the event from B to A category vis-à-vis testing, thus requiring its own Doping Control Officer (DCO) to take charge.

“A race can do the controls, but you have to send all the documents to the UCI for results management,” he said. “The problem for New Zealand and also the USA, such as with races such as the Tour of California, is that the National Anti Doping Agency doesn’t recognise the UCI as the result management authority as there is a different interpretation of the WADA code.

“For a couple of years already, we were struggling to get the documents of this race from the New Zealand National Anti Doping Agency. The controls were made, but the follow up of the controls was not done. Or it was costing the UCI a lot of trouble to get the requested information to be able to get the results management.”

He said that because of that delay, the governing body decided that it would move the race’s anti-doping classification to A class, thus requiring it to do things differently in 2013. That brought with it the extra costs highlighted by the race director.

Contacted by VeloNation, Sandoval said that he hadn’t been told of any such issues with documentation. “This is the first time we heard about this,” he said. “The UCI don’t talk to us…there is no communication. I advised the UCI about the cancellation of the women’s race but I didn’t hear anything from them.

“I did not hear about Drug Free Sport New Zealand not sending documents – this is the first time I have heard this being mentioned.”

Sandoval said that it was up to the New Zealand body to deal with that process, rather than him.

According to Jayne Kernohan, Manager of DFSNZ Testing Programmes, the agency has done what is required. “I don’t know why this is made to be a problem with us,” she told VeloNation. “The UCI and I had some correspondence a couple of months ago on this matter.

“[In previous years] the documents were all emailed to the UCI within a day of testing, and sent out [by post] within a week of the race.”

Kernohan said that the originals were sent in each case, but added that the UCI said that it never received the correspondence in 2012. “They did say they didn’t get the originals last season. All we can think of is that they must have been lost in the post. Next time we’ll make sure to use a courier.”

Asked if she knew of any other issues which had arisen over the race, she said that one aspect of Sandoval’s running of the event had been faulted. “The UCI have highlighted that they are not happy with the race director, who has never done the appropriate number of tests.

“The UCI say there must be a minimum of four tests a day over the five days, therefore twenty in all. But that has never been done in the past by this particular race director. Therein lies the problem. In previous years there was perhaps between eight and ten tests carried out, so it fell short.”

Kernohan said that some tests can be government funded and if this option is selected by the organiser, it means that Drug Free Sport New Zealand becomes the results management authority. She said that the original documentation will still be sent to the UCI in that case.

However she stated that the government funding only covers a portion of the tests. “We would never give the organiser the full twenty tests required by the UCI,” she explained. “The government funding has to be shared around all the sports. Particularly with the events run by private person for profit, we are very careful with how much is covered.”

She confirmed that Sandoval paid for ‘a small number’ of tests each year.

Can things be turned around in time?

The 2013 edition of the race is due to be held between January 23rd and 27th, starting 41 days from now. The UCI is aware that the pulling of the women’s race over costs means that the Oceania continent will have no UCI-ranked women’s races outside of national and continental championships, thus leaving a considerable gap in the calendar.

Carpani said that the UCI was open to talking to the other parties in the matter in order to see if a resolution can be found. “I’ve spoken about this to Francesca Rossi, the director of the CADF [the UCI’s Cycling Anti-doping Foundation],” he told VeloNation. “Her goal has never been to provoke the cancellation of the race. The UCI and the CADF are willing and open to do everything we can to do in order to save the race, as our goal is to promote cycling.”

However he said that conditions would have to be accepted for that to be the case. “The UCI, which is the results management authority according to the WADA code, can’t be troubled every year because others don’t do what they are supposed to do,” he continued. “That is why the UCI took the decision to upgrade the race to an A category in order to be allowed send our DCO and get the documents related to our control.

“However the race could be moved back to the previous category [for testing – ed], so that would mean they do not have to spend money for the DCO, but they have to give us the guarantee that they would send the forms to us as we are the results management authority.

“The CADF is open to any discussion aiming to find a solution and letting this race go ahead.”

Sandoval said that the UCI were yet to speak to him about a possible agreement, but said that he felt there may not be enough time to turn things around with regards the women’s race.

“I advised the UCI about the cancellation. I didn’t hear anything from them after that. I am moving on with the mens’ race, hoping to get a women’s race in 2014. At this late stage, it will be difficult we can do anything.

“If I had known this a month ago, it would definitely have been possible to run the race. I am not sure if it can be done now…there would be a lot of work to be done.”


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