AFLD confirms that it will conduct testing on this year’s Tour de France
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Friday, March 01, 2013

AFLD confirms that it will conduct testing on this year’s Tour de France

by Shane Stokes at 8:41 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Doping
 
French agency which uncovered multiple positives in 2008 confirms it will get necessary information from UCI

afldA desire by Tour de France organisers ASO to have the the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) carry out testing at this year’s race looks set to be granted, with that agency announcing yesterday that it would fill that role in July.

The AFLD did the testing during the 2008 Tour de France and uncovered many big names, with riders such as double stage winners Riccardo Riccò and Stefan Schumacher, stage 10 victor Leonardo Piepoli and third place finisher plus King of the Mountains Bernhard Kohl all testing positive for CERA.

Since then the UCI has assumed responsibility for testing but ASO said last month that it was necessary to have greater distance between the promotion and the policing of the sport. “We need to have a truly independent anti-doping body which has nothing to do with federations and which oversees all disciplines,” Tour race director Christian Prudhomme told AFP. “It's difficult to be both judge and jury.”

He said that he wanted the agency to conduct testing on Paris-Nice, which starts this Sunday. However the AFLD indicated that due to a disagreement with the UCI, that it would not be able to do so.

Those issues have apparently been remedied in relation to the Tour, and the AFLD issued a statement yesterday saying that the UCI had promised “information on the whereabouts of the riders and their biological profile data in order to carry out random tests.”

The UCI has been faulted in recent months over its close relationship with Lance Armstrong, plus the fact that it has admitted that none of the Texan’s biological passport readings after March 2009 were passed on to the expert panel for assessment.

It claimed that the screening software never flagged blood values, although the US Anti Doping Agency’s reasoned decision believes there was only a one in a million chance that he rode clean during his comeback.

UCI president Pat McQuaid has said recently that he would like the UCI to be able to hand over responsibility for anti-doping to an independent body, but stated that the WADA Code does not currently permit that to happen.

However the rules do allow the AFLD and other such bodies to carry out testing at events. It is unclear if the UCI will give full responsibility for testing to the agency, or if it will also be involved.

This year’s Tour de France begins in Corsica on June 29th.

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