Cookson calls for the sharing of data with anti-doping bodies to be obligatory for teams and organisers
  October 30, 2014 Login  

Current Articles    |   Archives    |   RSS Feeds    |   Search

Monday, July 22, 2013

Cookson calls for the sharing of data with anti-doping bodies to be obligatory for teams and organisers

by Shane Stokes at 4:53 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
UCI presidential candidate wants independent investigation plus amnesties, outlines seven-point plan to fight doping

Brian CooksonExpanding on the issues raised in his manifesto, Brian Cookson has said that he will introduce seven anti-doping measures if elected, including the compulsory sharing of data with both a new independent body plus the national anti-doping organisations.

“The release by Team Sky of Chris Froome's power data symbolised the sport's credibility problem and showed the need for more transparency, data sharing and co-operation from the teams,” he said in a statement today, referring to the climate of suspicion in evidence after the Lance Armstrong affair.

“That is why I am committed to ensuring the UCI adopt rules requiring teams and organisers to share relevant data and intelligence with the Independent Anti Doping Unit and relevant National Anti Doping organisations.”

Froome dominated this year’s Tour, winning at Ax 3 Domaines and Mont Ventoux, and also winning the second intermediate time trial. He finished four minutes twenty seconds clear of runner-up Nairo Quintana (Movistar), and would have had an even bigger winning margin had he not sat up to celebrate on the Champs Elysees.

However, matching Armstrong’s times on some climbs led to questions and while he and his Sky team insisted that there was nothing to hide, some remained unconvinced.

In response, the team has offered to provide power data, biologicial passport results and other such information to anti-doping bodies, so that they can assess the information and pass judgement.

However thus far WADA and UK Anti-Doping have both said that they don’t have scope to carry out that sort of role.

In today’s statement, Cookson accepts that what he calls the ‘mood of scepticism and doubt’ has frustrated the riders, but also states that it is understandable in the context of the deception shown in the Armstrong/US Postal Service case.

He said that it is necessary to change the situation in order to inspire public confidence and to ensure that performances can be believed.

“After a magnificent end to the 100th Tour de France, the UCI owes it to all the clean riders to show leadership on anti doping,” he stated.

“In my election manifesto launched last month, I outlined plans to establish a completely Independent Anti Doping Unit that would be physically and politically separate from the UCI. It would report to a board totally independent of the UCI in full cooperation with WADA.

"This is the cornerstone of my strategy to more effectively tackle doping in cycling and start the process of rebuilding trust in our sport. However, in light of the continuing issues arising from the Armstrong era and cycling's ongoing credibility problem, more can and must be done.”

Introducing his seven points, he pointed out that the UCI has in the past seemed unwilling to launch major investigations into doping in the sport. Instead, he said that third parties such as governments, police or national anti-doping agencies have tended to be the driving force in that regard.

He said that it is imperative for the UCI to show a real desire to confront the demons of the past and also to tackle the issues of the future. “I believe this is essential for the sport, for the riders, for the fans and for the sponsors,” he said.

Cookson’s statement reiterated his earlier call for a fully independent anti-doping unit to police that area of the sport. He also wants the appointment of team compliance officers to report to the new body, presumably to attest to the willingness of each squad to do what is required.

“Taken together, these anti doping measures can set a new path for the UCI and help to rebuild trust in our athletes and our sport,” he argued. “If we fail to embrace change, our sport will continue to be damaged by on-going innuendo, rumour and a fundamental lack of trust. The UCI must act decisively and show genuine leadership to support a new culture of anti doping.”

The UCI’s presidential election will take place during the week of the world road race championships in September. Current president Pat McQuaid is the only other candidate, and is going for his third term.

Cookson’s seven proposed anti-doping measures are as follows:

1) Put an end to the UCI’s public feuding with anti doping bodies such as WADA and USADA

“It is absurd that a sport that has suffered so much from doping has been in open conflict with the very people it should be working in partnership with. It is critical that the UCI develops an open, co-operative working relationships with WADA and the National Anti Doping Organisations. This is crucial if cycling’s war against doping is to succeed.”

2) Instigate a fully independent investigation into doping in cycling so we can deal once and for all with the past, with amnesties/reductions in sanctions to encourage all those involved to come forward

“We must learn from the past. I will implement a fully independent investigation into doping in cycling so we can deal once and for all with the past, with amnesties/reductions in sanctions to encourage all those involved to come forward. This will require agreement with WADA on its terms of reference and the appropriate amnesty provisions to properly incentivise those involved to come forward, but it must be done. The brief of the investigation should include the uncovering of any UCI corruption and collusion, and understand what factors led to the culture of doping.”

3) Ensure more transparency, data sharing and co-operation by teams with their national anti-doping body and cycling’s Independent Anti Doping Unit

“The release by Team Sky of Chris Froome's power data symbolised the sport's credibility problem and showed the need for more transparency, data sharing and co-operation from the teams. That is why I am committed to ensuring the UCI adopt rules requiring teams and organisers to share relevant data and intelligence with the Independent Anti Doping Unit and relevant National Anti Doping organisations.”

4) Create the role of independent team compliance officers whose duty will be to report regularly to the Independent Anti Doping Unit

"I believe that transparency will be helped significantly with a system to create the role of independent team compliance officers whose duty will be to report regularly to the Independent Anti Doping Unit.”

5) Introduce a Fit and Proper Person's test in cycling

“If elected UCI President I will introduce a Fit and Proper Person's test in cycling, taking the example from regulations which govern who is fit to be a company director. I want to see the UCI adopt a process by which team managers, team doctors and sports directors are assessed for their suitability to be in a position of authority in the sport.”

6) Support four year bans for dopers, and pursue doping enablers as well as riders

“I fully support longer bans for those found guilty of doping and welcome WADA’s new four year bans that will come into force from 2015. It is important that these sanctions are not just placed on riders found guilty, but also on those who enable doping to take place, such as managers, team staff and doctors. The UCI needs to put real effort into catching those who facilitate doping and champion whistleblowers, not denigrate them.”

7) Expand the UCI's anti doping education programmes

"Finally, I want to see an expansion of the UCI's education programmes, building on the good work of 'True Champion or Cheat' which is one of the excellent legacies of Anne Gripper's time as UCI Head of Anti Doping."

      comments




Subscribe via RSS or daily email

WHAT'S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW
  Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy  Copyright 2008-2013 by VeloNation LLC