Lack of biological passport stops Alexander Kristoff in the Tour Down Under
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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Lack of passport stops Kristoff Down Under

by Ben Atkins at 5:14 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping, Tour Down Under

New BMC Racing signing Alexander Kristoff will be prevented from taking the start of his first ever ProTour race by the International Cycling Union (UCI) because of having no data on his biological passport, according to The 22-year-old Norwegian moved up from Continental level Joker-Bianchi to the Professional Continental level BMC Racing and has yet to have been tested. According to ProTour rules, a rider with no biological passport is ineligible to start in ProTour races even if his team is allowed.

Regulation 2.1.005 the UCI’s Road Racing Rules states:

“In order to compete in a race on the UCI World Calendar, riders of UCI ProTeams and UCI Continental Professional teams must have submitted accurate whereabouts information and have been subjected to at least three blood parameter tests collected in accordance with the UCI biological passport protocols. The three tests must have been collected over a minimum period of six weeks.”

As a member of a UCI Continental Professional – or Professional Continental – team, this regulation applies to Kristoff. He is currently listed in BMC Racing’s roster for the race and as yet no replacement has been named.

The biological passport was introduced by the UCI in 2008 in order to monitor each rider’s blood and hormone levels. By recording each test a rider is subjected to a profile can be developed, setting normal values and identifying major fluctuations that may indicate doping. The UCI has used data provided by the passport system to target test and catch riders; Danilo Di Luca – second-placed in the 2009 Giro d’Italia – was targeted and caught in this way, but this is the first recorded case where a rider has effectively been sanctioned because of a lack of data.

"They have not taken any blood yet, and there is nothing I can do to get them to do so," said a resigned Kristoff to NTB. “I do not know when the UCI will take [the samples], but I hope it comes in time for the spring classics. I would really love to ride them, especially the Ronde van Vlaanderen.”

How long it might take for Kristoff to build up enough data on his biological passport is, as he says, not clear. In theory, according to the regulations, it could be as little as six weeks but with tests supposed to be random it could well take a lot longer for him to be subject to the necessary three.

It is possible – and probable – that he could be eligible for the next ProTour race at the Vuelta a Catalunya, but there is also the potential – however unlikely – that he may not be able to ride any ProTour events all year.


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