Tour of California steps up anti-doping efforts
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Friday, April 30, 2010

Tour of California steps up anti-doping efforts

by VeloNation Press at 2:56 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of California

Tour of California organizers, AEG, have announced increased anti-doping efforts with the support of Amgen and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) that will provide additional testing protocols for the fifth edition of the race.  The move is designed to  supplement the efforts of the Union Cycliste Internationale’s (UCI) Biological Passport program to form a more comprehensive anti-doping initiative.

“We are grateful for our partnership with USADA and the UCI to ensure that we are doing all we can to guarantee a fair competition for the athletes,” said Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports, the race owner and organizer.  “We are committed to continuing to explore additional ways to ensure a clean race.”

The additional measures include:

UCI in-competition testing – Each day, testing will be conducted with the stage winner, current leader of the general classification and three other riders (chosen from the general field)

Pre-race testing – Riders will have blood and urine samples collected prior to the race.  For teams not involved in the UCI Biological Passport program, USADA is conducting pre-event, out-of-competition testing in the weeks leading up to the race; these tests have already begun

USADA Registered Testing Pool (RTP) – Conducted by USADA, riders in the RTP are tested throughout the year, in the out-of-competition program, including the weeks leading up to the event

Prohibited List – Samples will be screened for substances and methods included on the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List, such as steroids, hormones (e.g. EPO), stimulants and various masking agents

– Sample collections may include both urine and blood, and samples will be tested for the presence of prohibited substances such as steroids, hormones (including EPO) and various masking agents, as well as indications of blood manipulation.  Certain samples will include special analysis, such as the CIR test for synthetic testosterone and will be tested for CERA and hGH

Storage – A number of urine and blood samples collected will be stored for up to eight years so that, in the event of new testing methods, samples can be reevaluated

“USADA commends the Amgen Tour of California for taking a proactive and comprehensive approach to its anti-doping efforts at this event,” said USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart.  “We are committed to protecting clean athletes and preserving a level playing field for those who want to compete fairly and healthy, and are pleased to work with the event management to do our utmost to ensure this.”

In addition to the above, all participating teams are required to ensure that all team members, including coaches, trainers and support staff, are clear of any pending doping investigations at the time of the 2010 Amgen Tour of California.  The roster of riders will be provided by the participating team and will then be submitted to USA Cycling and UCI to confirm that there are no open investigations prior to the race.

The title sponsor of the race, Amgen, applauds the extra efforts by AEG: ”Amgen appreciates and shares AEG’s interest in running a clean race,” said Dr. Steve Elliott, Amgen scientific executive director.  “We are pleased with the steps AEG has taken, in collaboration with USADA and UCI, to continue to strengthen the Amgen Tour of California’s anti-doping program.”


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