McQuaid says UCI was happy with AFLD collaboration on Paris-Nice
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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

McQuaid says UCI was happy with AFLD collaboration on Paris-Nice

by Shane Stokes at 1:03 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping, Paris-Nice
Said partnership worked ‘extremely well’

This year’s Paris-Nice was the first occasion for the UCI and the French anti-doping agency AFLD to work together under the latter’s new president Bruno Genevois.

It followed on from previous tensions under the former president Pierre Bordry and, according to the UCI’s Pat McQuaid, the partnership on Paris-Nice was a successful one.

“We are certainly happy with it. What is more important is that the reports we are hearing from them and the guys on the ground was that it worked extremely well,” he told VeloNation yesterday evening, while returning from a race in Croatia.

“I haven’t been in the office over the weekend…the last I heard was on Friday when I was in the office. Francesca Rossi [UCI anti-doping manager] said to me then that everybody was very happy with the way things were going on Paris-Nice. I presume things finished up that way.”

A press conference held by McQuaid and Genevois on the eve of the race announced that a total of 120 anti-doping tests will be carried out at the WorldTour event.These examinations would comprise 70 tests carried out between March 6th and 13th, with the AFLD collecting and analysing these. There would also be approximately 50 biological passport blood samples conducted by the UCI, and used for targeting.

Twelve months ago there was a very obvious tension between the UCI and the AFLD after the governing body refused to allow the latter to work on the race. It took a WADA appeal to enable the AFLD to have a part in the Tour de France anti-doping procedures, but things have improved since Genevois took over in October.

McQuaid said prior to the race that a new level of cooperation had been reached. “The misunderstandings which had troubled relations between the UCI and AFLD are now in the past,” he said then. “We are extremely happy to be able to work alongside AFLD once again, in a calm atmosphere where we have restored confidence in each other.”

As things went well on Paris-Nice, it will increase the chances that both could work together on this year’s Tour de France.

Team RadioShack’s Janez Brajkovic was less happy with the AFLD on March 12th. “Drug Control. My 4th Klodi's 7th. They treat us as a criminals. They say, we're afld, we can do whatever we want!” he wrote on his Twitter feed.

He later added, “I think some people didn't understand me. I'm 100% for controls, just in a human way. No arrogance, treating us like sh.t, etc”

The team has been on the AFLD’s radar for some time, particularly after infusion kits were reportedly found in the Astana team’s vacated hotel rooms during the 2009 Tour de France. The majority of that team moved over to Team RadioShack, including Klöden, Brajkovic, Lance Armstrong and general manager Johan Bruyneel.

The latter two were part of the previous US Postal Service squad, which is currently under investigation by federal agents. Armstrong and Bruyneel have denied any wrongdoing.


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