UCI welcomes IOC decision on “No Needles Policy” for London 2012
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Monday, July 11, 2011

UCI welcomes IOC decision on “No Needles Policy” for London 2012

by Ben Atkins at 10:09 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping, Olympics
Olympic Games to follow cycling in the banning of non-medical injections

iocThe International Cycling Union (UCI) has welcomed the decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to ban the possession and use of syringes outside medical areas in the next Olympic Games in London 2012. The UCI took the decision to ban injections that were not medical necessities in May, just before the Giro d’Italia, and now the rest of the Olympic sports will have to follow suit.

Arne Ljungqvist, president of the IOC's medical commission, said the introduction of the policy provided a "message of good medical practice".

While the measure was brought in by the UCI in May, it had already been in existence in some teams, most notably Garmin-Cervélo.

The policy was adopted, after consultation with the International Federation of Rowing Associations (FISA), in a move to eradicate what it called “the culture of the needle”. While it was acknowledge that by no means all injections carried out were in the use of illegal doping products, the UCI identified the practice as a gateway to doping.

“We are extremely happy to see that the IOC shares our same vision,” said UCI President Pat McQuaid, “further confirming the quality of the measures we are applying in cycling.”

While cycling is often condemned in the wider sporting world for what is perceived as a doping culture, some of the measures taken by the UCI in the anti-doping fight have been praised. These include the Biological Passport, which collates data from riders’ blood and urine samples, where anomalies indicate possible blood manipulation or doping; several riders have been suspended under the system, including Italian star Franco Pellizotti.

Several sports have been reported as considering the introduction of Biological Passports for their own athletes; many will now have to follow the UCI in the banning of needles.


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