WADA: UCI warning riders “totally contradicts the purpose of an effective anti-doping program”
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Thursday, January 24, 2013

WADA: UCI warning riders “totally contradicts the purpose of an effective anti-doping program”

by Ben Atkins at 12:37 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Global anti-doping agency dismisses Hein Verbruggen’s claim that the practice is common across sports federations

wadaThe World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has dismissed claims made by former International Cycling Union (UCI) president Hein Verbruggen that the practice of warning athletes about suspicious test results was commonplace across sports federations, Sports Illustrated reports. In a statement to the Associated Press, the Montreal-based organisation described the practice as entirely contrary “to the purpose of an effective anti-doping program.”

In a statement - also to the Associated Press - on Wednesday, Verbruggen admitted that the practice of warning doped riders - including Lance Armstrong - that they had returned suspicious results “with the aim of getting them to stop doping.”

The WADA response is another indication of the distancing of the two organisations after the sanctioning of Armstrong by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). Recently, WADA also criticised the UCI over its admission that it arranged a meeting between Armstrong and the director of the Lausanne, Switzerland, anti-doping lab, with USADA chief Travis Tygart saying that the lab’s head, Martial Saugy, effectively handed Armstrong and his team manager Johan Bruyneel “the keys to defeat the EPO test.”

Last week WADA withdrew from playing any part in the UCI’s Independent Commission (UCIIC), which was drawn up to investigate the role played by the UCI during the Armstrong era, due to the narrowness of its UCI-set terms of reference.

“This approach totally contradicts the purpose of an effective anti-doping program,” reads the WADA statement on Verbruggen’s recent comments, adding that a governing body's policy should be “designed to deter, detect and prevent athletes from doping.”

“WADA has no evidence of other international federations’ discussing atypical blood test results, or other test results' with athletes,'' it adds. “Any [federation] that would do such a thing would leave itself open to criticism with regards to its impartiality and integrity.”

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