USADA to carry out testing at the Tour of Utah
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Tuesday, August 06, 2013

USADA to carry out testing at the Tour of Utah

by Shane Stokes at 2:04 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Tygart states that UCI recently relinquished control of race and that USADA will step in

Tour of UtahAlthough USADA CEO Travis Tygart recently highlighted the likely lack of strong testing at events such as the USA Pro Cycling Challenge due to the refusal of the UCI to turn over anti-doping responsibilities for those races to USADA, the Tour of Utah will fall under the agency’s control.

Tygart has told VeloNation that the UCI recently dropped the Tour of Utah from the list of events that it carries out the tests on. “My understanding is that the UCI has not given it the certification for it to be a UCI controlled event, so we now have the freedom to test it,” he said. “We got late notice of it no longer being under UCI testing, but we were able to get testing for it in place.”

The Tour of Utah begins today and will feature a number of anti-doping tests each day. Under its regulations, the general classification leader after each stage will be required to provide samples, and so too at least two other riders who are selected by the doping control officer.

Other riders can be added to the pool. Urine and/or blood testing will be carried out.

In his recent comments on testing in major US events, Tygart suggested that the UCI was deliberately holding back on the type and number of tests in order to avoid awkward positives.

“We are going to have the USA Pro Cycling Challenge happen here in a couple of weeks,” he told VeloNation. “It’s one of the biggest races in the United States, and absolutely the biggest race in Colorado. Yet the independent agency based in Colorado [USADA - ed.] - which runs the programme for the Olympic movement which is also based in Colorado - is not doing the testing, because the UCI refuses to give up the control.

“We are confident, just like in seasons past, there won’t be CIR testing [a more precise screen for testosterone – ed.], there won’t be human growth hormone testing, there won’t be EPO testing. It is a charade.”

VeloNation has sought clarification as to what tests USADA will run at the Tour of Utah but is still awaiting an answer on that.

Tygart stated that he had a phone conversation with Pat McQuaid in 2011 and emphasised the need for a body such as USADA to be able to conduct the tests. He told the UCI President that he felt that cycling ‘was under siege’ as a result of what he said was inaction by the UCI.

However, he said that despite that request and similar requests from race organisers to turn over testing to the agency, the UCI has not relinquished control for the biggest races.

Ultimately, Tygart states that this puts an unfair pressure on the riders and events. “I think we all have to be highly suspect of the testing that is done at those events. And that is unacceptable and unfair to the athletes and to the organisers who are running those events,” he reasoned. “Those athletes deserve to be held to the highest standard, because when they have a good performance and they say ‘well, we are subject to the UCI’s testing,’ everybody knows that is a charade.

They need to be able to say ‘we are held to independent testing by the gold standard testing regime in this country.’

Now, with Utah falling under USADA’s control, the agency has an opportunity to show how it will do things differently.

The 2.1 ranked race begins today and runs until Sunday.

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