World Champ Hushovd informed on Garmin's anti-doping rules
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Sunday, December 5, 2010

World Champ Hushovd informed on Garmin's anti-doping rules

by Samuel Morrison at 7:57 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
No needle policy and test for plasticizers

World Champion Thor Hushovd met for Garmin-Cervélo's team orientation last week in the Caymen Islands. Besides beach time and training, Team Manager Jonathan Vaughters explained the anti-doping rules.

"The team is good. The organization is strong. The philosophy is sound," Hushovd told Norway's VG Nett. Vaughters "handles his role very well. Jonathan is a serious guy with a lot of humour. He jokes a lot, and I like that."

Norwegian Hushovd, 31, raced with Vaughters at team Crédit Agricole 10 years ago. Since then, the American has gone on to form his own team, which has a hard-lined anti-doping approach.

Hushovd now has a chance to appreciate Vaughters' approach first hand. His former team, Cervélo TestTeam, merged with Vaughters' Garmin-Transitions team this August. Hushovd and six other Cervélo cyclists made the jump. All of the Garmin riders signed a deal that allows the team's own anti-doping agency to test anytime day or night, 365 days a year. If the team is suspicious, they may suspend the rider in question.

"Riders can not take any supplements that are not approved by the team," said Vaughters. "They can be tested around the clock, and we have a strict policy against the use of needles. It should not happen anywhere, at any time."

"We are also tested for traces of plastic in the body," said Hushovd. "It is an example of how the team uses a number of tests that are not yet valid internationally."

Hushovd is referring to plasticizers, which manufactures use to make blood bags and may indicate a rider had a blood transfusion. They became famous when the New York Times reported in October that a lab found them in Alberto Contador's urine.

Spanish authorities are investigating Contador due to his positive test for Clenbuterol, which helps breathing and weight loss.  He tested postive on July 21, during the Tour de France he won by 39 seconds over Andy Schleck. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has yet to approve the analysis to test the plasticizers link, which prohibits prosecutors to use the evidence against Contador.

Besides anti-doping rules, Hushovd planned his season with Vaughters. He will start at the Tour of Oman, February 15 to 20. He will also race the semi-Classics in Belgium, then Tirreno-Adriatico, Milan-Sanremo, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, the Tour of California, the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España. The Vuelta will ready him to defend his World Championships title in Copenhagen on September 25.


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