McQuaid: UCI wants to end the ‘culture of the syringe’
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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

McQuaid: UCI wants to end the ‘culture of the syringe’

by Shane Stokes at 7:04 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Measures being taken to ban injections in pro cycling

UCI President Pat McQuaid has verified that the governing body is seeking to ban all injections by teams. The Irishman was speaking after Saturday’s press conference prior to Paris-Nice, when the UCI stated that its medical staff had met team doctors to discuss the issues.

McQuaid said that he wanted to banish the ‘culture of the syringe,’ and that injections of vitamins and other such non-banned substances would be included. Some teams already state that they have a no-needles policy, including Garmin-Cervelo.

“We remember the syringes found in hotel rooms, and you know how much that contributes to tarnish the image of the sport,” McQuaid told L’Equipe.

He was speaking about occasions such as past raids carried out during the Giro d’Italia, and may also have been referring to the infusion kits seized during the 2009 Tour de France. These had reportedly been used by the Astana team. The issue was being investigated by the French OCASLESP (Central Office for the fight against environmental damage and for public health). Johan Bruyneel and Alain Gallopin were questioned by officers last May and April, respectively. Both denied any knowledge of the matter. No conclusion has yet been announced in relation to that investigation.

Blood transfusions have long been banned in pro cycling. The use of saline drips and other infusions has also been prohibited by WADA for many years.

The new rules are also expected to see a 48 hour break from competition for any riders treated with an injection of corticosteroids. The issue is yet to be fully worked out, but it is hope to have the regulations in place by this year’s Giro d’Italia.

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