AFLD pushes to do additional anti-doping tests during Tour de France
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Thursday, May 13, 2010

AFLD pushes to do additional anti-doping tests during Tour de France

by Conal Andrews at 6:35 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Doping
 
Further clashes with the UCI?

Although the UCI has said that it will no longer work with the AFLD, the French anti-doping agency has said that it wants to conduct additional tests of its own during this year’s Tour de France, and will lobby the UCI to do so.

A clarification of the World Anti-Doping Code means that its president Pierre Bordry believes that the AFLD has the right to conduct its own tests, in addition to those the UCI will carry out. If the UCI refuses to allow it to do so, he said that he would approach WADA to gain permission.

"We are a national agency and we are not allowed to supervise the drug tests during international competition, but we can ask for extra controls," Bordry told The Associated Press yesterday. "[WADA] clarified this point last weekend during a meeting of its executive committee."

Bordry has emailed UCI President Pat McQuaid offering to do the additional tests "in accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code." A refusal from the UCI will see the AFLD go to WADA to get the green light.

The AFLD conducted tests during the 2008 Tour de France and caught several riders for doping, most notably snagging Riccardo Ricco, Bernhard Kohl, Leonardo Piepoli and Stefan Schumacher for CERA. Between them those riders won five stages, took third overall plus the King of the Mountains jersey.

The AFLD also worked alongside the UCI in last year’s race, but the partnership was not a happy one. The agency accused the UCI of favouring the Astana team, which on one stage had nearly one hour’s notice before the early-morning tests were done, and of others errors in the way testing was conducted.

The UCI rejected that criticism and blasted the AFLD for speaking to the media about the tests. It said that it would no longer work with the agency and would instead do testing itself at the 2010 Tour, under the supervision of WADA.

Minimum testing prior to 2009 race

McQuaid recently criticised the AFLD again, saying that it had only carried out a minimal number of tests prior to last year’s race. Bordry responded to that this week, saying that it had conducted just 13 out of competition tests as the UCI did not give information that it had requested.

"They were giving us details of the riders' location only on the eve of the tests," said Bordry. He pointed out that the AFLD had done 80 out-of-competition doping tests prior the 2008 race.

As an authority entitled to test riders who are staying on French soil, he wants to again conduct out of competition testing prior to this year’s Tour. However he said that the UCI had refused to share the whereabouts information.

"We want to control the riders who will be training in France before the race starts," Bordry stated. "Without those files, it will be difficult to find them but we'll try and find a solution."

 

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