UCI's biological passport - "abnormal" values found
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

UCI's biological passport - "abnormal" values found

by VeloNation Press at 1:33 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 

The International Cycling Union (UCI) issued a press release yesterday to address the recent declarations published in the press that indicate some thirty riders registered in their Biological Passport program are considered as "suspect".

In the release the governing body said that the news reports are incorrect based on the information they have from experts hired to evaluate the blood samples.

During 2008 the UCI collected approximately 8,300 blood samples for the program, which amounts to biological passports for 804 active professionals.

In order to create a biological passport, results from lab tests are put through an algorithm that then determines a riders normal levels. Before the UCI can draw conclusions from the passport, it must first have enough samples from a rider to create their baseline. The UCI did not say how many samples were necessary for an accurate passport to be achieved.

Nine independent scientific experts have been appointed by the UCI to interpret the scientific and statistical elements that are being tracked.  The information being collected can then be used to indicate whether doping has occurred.

The UCI has confirmed that there were a number of profiles flagged as "abnormal", and will require further analysis by experts. The initial number was larger, but some profiles were filtered out based on the rider's circumstance during the abnormal reading.

In cases that warrant action, the UCI has employed targeted doping controls and/or collected additional blood samples in order to rule out any uncertainties.

A "small number" of profiles are being scrutinized further by the group of experts, the UCI says, and they insist they will not be acted upon without sound evidence of doping.

Now that the profiling system has been in place for a year, it is expected that the sport will begin to reap the benefits of the program in 2009.

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