UCI to push for four year bans for first serious doping violation
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

UCI to push for four year bans for first serious doping violation

by Shane Stokes at 6:56 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Doping
 
McQuaid wants tougher penalties

Pat McQuaidIn the wake of some recent high profile cases, the UCI has confirmed that it is recommending doubling the length of bans for a serious doping offences. Riders transfusing blood or using substances such as EPO, CERA, testosterone and other similar products will face sanctions of up to four years, a measure the governing body will hope has a serious deterrent effect.

UCI President Pat McQuaid first mentioned the news at the Tour de France presentation and later elaborated on it to VeloNation. “I was asked an opinion in an interview today about the sanctions and I said that I would like to see four-year sanctions coming in,” he said on Tuesday evening, speaking by phone from Paris.

“I have asked the anti-doping department that when they review positive doping cases and prepare the dossier to go to the national federation for following up on, that the UCI will recommend to the national federation that a four year ban be given.”

The measure has been on the cards for a while, but most recent sanctions have been for two years or less. A consistent application of the harsher ban might well have an effect; as world road race champion Thor Hushovd told VeloNation last weekend, taking such a substantial chunk out of a rider’s career should be a real deterrent.

“Maybe in some cases they should have longer suspensions and, when they come back, don’t let them come back that easily [to the top –level teams],” the Norwegian said. “Because when you are 22 years old and you get a ban, you can come back when you are 24 and you still have ten to fifteen years of a career.

“To get more credibility, maybe we need a longer suspensions.”

McQuaid sees things the same way, recognising that some riders are continuing to use banned substances despite the current sanctions. The provision to hit them with harsher ban has been around for a while, but hasn’t been used.

“It has been in the code since the beginning of 2009 or 2010. Along with the financial fines, it has come in as part of the new code, and I want it implemented,” he said. “I want to see four year bans coming in, becoming standard practice for those cases of premeditated doping. I expect that that cycling will be the first international federation to bring in a four year ban.”

The UCI is currently working with WADA in relation to the Alberto Contador anti-doping case. McQuaid has said that he doesn’t know how long it will be until before verdict is released. The Spaniard tested positive for Clenbuterol during this year’s Tour de France, which he won.

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