Tour's anti-doping chief regrets no UCI help
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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Tour's anti-doping chief regrets no UCI help

by Agence France-Presse at 7:31 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
The chief of anti-doping operations at this year's Tour de France has hit out at the International Cycling Union (UCI) over a lack of co-operation prior to this year's race.

Following a feud between world cycling's governing body and major race organisers, this year's race was held under the auspices of the French cycling federation and not the UCI.

That meant all anti-doping controls were handled by the French National Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD), which so far has snared three riders for illegal use of the blood booster EPO (erythropoietin).

Italian climber Riccardo Ricco and two Spaniards - Manuel Beltran and Moises Duenas - were expelled from the race after testing positive for EPO.

After the final stage on Sunday the AFLD will have taken 250 samples from riders during the race, excluding the 180 blood samples taken from the entire field in a two-day period just before the first stage.

The AFLD also carried out 80 random tests on riders in June, in the weeks leading up to the Tour. In all, it has led AFLD chief Pierre Bordry to claim it has been a successful operation on the Tour, but he added: "It's more than what the UCI usually do."

Bordry said he regretted the "lack of cooperation" from the part of the UCI, notably a lack of information relating to the UCI's 'biological passport' scheme which could have given the AFLD a head start against potential cheats. "I would have preferred that the UCI collaborated a bit more with us in the fight against doping," added Bordry. "We played the game with the UCI, but they have refused to give us any information whatsoever."

Bordry said that in the absence of help from the UCI, he sought collaboration with a laboratory in Lausanne. It has official backing of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and dealt with the peloton's 180 blood samples, at least two of which, from Ricco and Beltran, prompted the AFLD to carry out conclusive tests on urine samples. "Our collaboration with the Lausanne laboratory at the start of the Tour was very productive," added Bordry. "For us to target some riders we used a mix of their results, our own information and what we seen on the race itself. The chief of the doping controls spent the entire month of July watching the Tour on television." The positive EPO test for Duenas, formerly of the Barloworld team, came following a random test.

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