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UCI/ProTour teams/doping

Phil ScpPhil Scp Posts: 2,525
edited December 1969 in Pro race
GENEVA, June 19 (Reuters) - The International Cycling Union (UCI) has asked all ProTour cyclists to sign an anti-doping charter including promises to submit DNA samples to Spanish authorities investigating the Puerto affair.
The document, handed out by the UCI at a media conference in Geneva on Tuesday, will also ask cyclists to pledge a year's salary in the event that they test positive for a banned substance in the future.
The letter, which begins with a declaration that the rider has not been involved in any past doping affair, will be sent to cyclists for signing by July 7.
Describing the document as "the riders' commitment to a new cycling", UCI president Pat McQuaid acknowledged that no-one could be forced to sign.
However, a full list of those who had signed would be made publicly available on the organisation's Web site, he added.
"It is not a legal letter at all so from that point of view we don't have the possibility to sanction the riders, but we have asked the team leaders to take any non-signings into account when deciding whether their riders start (a race) or not," McQuaid said.
"Of course it can be said that this is merely a nice intention but I prefer to be optimistic on it. I do think there is a genuine wish for change in the sport and this is one aspect of that wish for change."
Cyclists will be asked to declare "to the Spanish Law that my DNA is at its disposal, so that it can be compared with the blood samples seized in the Puerto affair."
Spanish authorities seized 200 bags of frozen blood last year in the Operacion Puerto anti-doping probe.
Having at first been denied access to the evidence produced in the Puerto case, McQuaid said the UCI had now received a thousand pages of the total six thousand presented to the courts.
The UCI president said he had urged ProTour team leaders to suspend any riders involved in the case but added that it was "still not clear" if the courts' evidence could be used for sporting sanctions.
McQuaid said there was no chance of any such sanctions being implemented before next month's Tour de France.
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  • The last line doesn't stop ASO sanctioning riders though as they seem to be heading the anti doping front.
  • Phil ScpPhil Scp Posts: 2,525
    GENEVA, June 19, 2007 (AFP) - Cycling boss Pat McQuaid on Tuesday called on ProTour riders to pledge their commitment by making a sample of their DNA available and lodging the equivalent of a year's salary which they will lose if they fail a drugs test in next month's Tour de France.
    Doping cases have rocked recent editions of the world's premier cycling race with last year's winner American Floyd Landis accused of using performance-enhancing drugs on his way to victory.
    Speaking during a press conference after a meeting between the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the 20 ProTour teams, UCI president McQuaid presented a letter which he invited all 600 ProTour cyclists to sign before the Tour starts in London on July 7.
    "I accept that if I break the UCI's anti-doping regulations to pay in addition to the statutory sanctions a contribution equal to my salary for 2007," read the letter which was signed on the spot by France's Sandy Casar (Francaise des Jeux) and Britain's Mark Cavendish (T-Mobile).
    "At the same time I declare to Spanish authorities that my DNA is available to be compared with the blood bags seized as part of the Puerto affair," the letter continued.
    Operation Puerto was the name given to a raid on the premises of Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes in May 2006. Madrid police uncovered bags of blood and doping products, along with codenames of cyclists and documents which pointed to organised doping.
    As a result of the investigation, former Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich, who has since retired, was one of dozens of cyclists forced out of competing in last year's race.
    McQuaid said that riders who refused to sign would not face legal action but it would be "up to the teams to decide what to do with them."
    Anne Gripper, head of the UCI's anti-doping programme, believes that any rider who refuses to sign it would probably not start the Tour de France "not for legal reasons but because of the pressure."
  • Thanks for that. Good to read the original before it gets mangled and misinterpreted in the press over the next few days.
    No chain, no gain
  • So what about sanctions for the team bosses who organise the doping?

    Or the UCI for being complicit for the past 100 years?

    They always poop on the little guys and pats on the back all round for the boys in blazers.

    TdG
  • Phil ScpPhil Scp Posts: 2,525
    That's not really my reading of it - there's already a PT team charter, now the riders are being asked to take some responisbility and you can't blame the current UCI set-up - they must take action.
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 24,520
    "and lodging the equivalent of a year's salary which they will lose if they fail a drugs test in next month's Tour de France."

    How are they all going to come up with this? I don't have a year's salary knocking around, and I earn more that a lot of the domestiques.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Phil S</i>

    That's not really my reading of it - there's already a PT team charter, now the riders are being asked to take some responisbility and you can't blame the current UCI set-up - they must take action.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">They must. But, as Timoid has already said, it's the riders who get punished again. The system is corrupt and they are just pawns in the game - why should they be the ones who bear all the responsibility? Wouldn't a series of punishment measures for the teams, i.e. something like a fine when one of your riders fails a test (or are caught up in a doping investigation), a suspension from racing when two riders fail tests through to withdrawal of your license to race be a more productive step?
  • kavcpkavcp Posts: 101
    Agreed. While the riders definately need a financial incentive NOT to dope, it would be fairer and perhaps a more accurate and humane sanction to take money/points/races away from the teams/sponsors.

    Still, it'll be interesting to see who does and doesn't sign. On the face of it, if you are clean and have no problems supplying DNA/blood to Puerto analysis then why not? Prevarication = guilt in the current climate.
  • Phil ScpPhil Scp Posts: 2,525
    Agree with the last two points, all we can hope is that teams do stuff like at T-Mobile and help riders along with clean, healthy and above all safe methods while also monitoring them. It's easy to be cycnical about it all but sometimes I like to hope.
  • Keith OatesKeith Oates Posts: 22,036
    The other problem is that some of the testing is done by some very suspect WADA appointed and approved labs, not good for the cyclists!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Ride Daily, Keep Healthy

    Ride Daily, Keep Healthy
  • methodmethod Posts: 784
    There may have been mistakes at some of the labs, but calling them suspect is going a bit far, are you suggesting that WADA is deliberately creating false positives?
  • Phil ScpPhil Scp Posts: 2,525
    Come on Keith, it's cycling that needs to get its house in order not the labs
  • lucretiuscplucretiuscp Posts: 135
    If the labs were beyond reproach the Landis debacle would have been solved one way or the other long ago.
  • How?! Landis was owed his week in court, which happened to occur a few weeks ago. Now the panel are deliberating. Quite how is it the fault of the labs that we have had to wait until now for a decision? It is simply due process...
  • LangerDanLangerDan Posts: 6,132
    The sporting authorities across the world must be kicking themselves. There they were, spending all that money on drug testing and anti-doping policies when all it takes is to get the athletes to sign a voluntary statement saying they'll have nothing to do with the stuff.

    When you read the actual UCI statement, the salary is only foregone in the case where the rider receives the full two-year suspension. If you negotiate your way to say, 23 months, your money is safe.

    A few years ago, a World/Olympic medal-winning athlete was asked why they didn't support a then-current campaign against drug abuse in endurance sports (I think the supporters wore a ribbon - sort of the precursor of the "Drug-free Sport" wristband). The reply was that the dopers will sign up to these petitions too and the moment one drugs cheat is on-board, the campaign becomes meaningless.

    I hope the UCI initiative has some impact but I'd personally prefer that the efforts were spent on demanding good laboratory practices. (I don't believe that the labs were deliberately falsifying results, but the apparently poor practices are giving scumbags an opportunity to weasel out of their due punishment)

    <font size="1">"Hincapie's Disco pants are the best,
    They go from his censored to his chest,
    They're better than 'Sandro Ballans.
    Hincapie's Disco pants"</font id="size1">
    'This week I 'ave been mostly been climbing like Basso - Shirley Basso.'
  • Ste_SSte_S Posts: 1,173
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Keith Oates</i>

    The other problem is that some of the testing is done by some very suspect WADA appointed and approved labs, not good for the cyclists!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Ride Daily, Keep Healthy
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Guess who's been listening to Landis' defence !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Danger ! Men at work
  • but its not just the Landis defence, look back over the last 5 years or so and you'll find a dozen or so cases where labwork & or their systems were not in line with UCI protocol (ie same tester doing A&B tests, testers not being able to use the equipement, the tester knowing the identity of the donor etc...), doesnt mean they didnt do it, but with sloppy lab work people get off.

    Also this year's salary business, is this a years salary before or after they're caught, as after being sacked Im sure their salary will decrease rapidly...[;)]
  • The only instance I can think of where a rider got off on a technicality is the case last year of Inigo Landaluze.

    Can those who believe the labs are making lots of mistakes please provide evidence to support their claims. Otherwise I'll revert back to my position that the only people making criticisms of the labs are those that have failed tests.
  • oily sailoroily sailor Posts: 235
    Manzano has been criticising Spanish labs. See down the page here:

    http://www.velonews.com/race/int/articles/12375.0.html
  • And on it goes - it seems the UCI are tracking "6 or 7" top riders who are seen as high risk cases. More here.
  • what a bizarre article...maybe its just come across badly in translation, but <i>'they are training on strange places..'</i>, maybe even a typo but would be considered a strange place (Canvey Island I suppose but not seen many pro cyclists there lately[:D]).

    And how would wearing non team clothes avoid the vultures, I though if you missed tests you were heading for as much trouble as a positive result..??

    You know the more I read and look into this I dont think we'll ever see the end to doping, Im reading about new drugs with strange names that are currently undetectable, that are 'widespread' in the peleton, it really is a sad state the sport is in.
  • I don't understand the team kit thing either - loads of people who aren't pros wear team kit. Once I even saw someone wearing Predictor-Lotto kit out of choice!! Do these people get randomly descended upon and tested.....?
  • EurostarEurostar Posts: 1,806
    To me the most interesting aspect of the UCI declaration is that Prudhomme is trying to force out of the Tour anyone who won't promise to give DNA to the Spanish police. Does this mean we will have a seismic shift over the next two weeks, with more big names dropping out than last year? Pereiro has said he would leave cycling before giving DNA. What about Vino, Kloden, Valverde, Boonen and Contador? Maybe there are other nervous riders at CSC and Discovery too. Prudhomme seems to think he can flush out all Doc Fuentes' patients and give the French teams a level playing field.
    <hr>
    <h6>What\'s the point of going out? We\'re just going to end up back here anyway</h6>
  • oily sailoroily sailor Posts: 235
    I think we should build up a list of riders/DS for and against the new declaration.

    So far I have seen: O'Grady, Hammond, Schleck (Frank), Gerdemann, Cavendish (quote: I don't give a **** about the past) and Casar all speak in favour.

    Against it: Pozatto, Moser, Saronni

    Have I missed any Italians, sorry, any other riders?


    ps - Eurostar, I think Pereiro has said he will give DNA, that was a misprint from the media.
  • EurostarEurostar Posts: 1,806
    Where did you read that about Pereiro? Velonews says the opposite.

    Velonews also says that Prudhomme told AFP that Agritubel and Rabobank have signed. Nobody else has reported this though.

    Perhaps I have too much faith in Velonews!
    <hr>
    <h6>What\'s the point of going out? We\'re just going to end up back here anyway</h6>
  • oily sailoroily sailor Posts: 235
    Check out the "Pereiro blasts Italian press" bit on this page:

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/news.php?id= ... /may19news

    Velonews must have forgotten to report Oscar's reaction.
  • EurostarEurostar Posts: 1,806
    Hmmm. First he says "I am willing to deliver my DNA so that they can compare it with the necessary things." Then he says "if I have to prove my innocence via my DNA, I will leave cycling, because it's clear that cycling in this form is not worth it." I'm confused.
    <hr>
    <h6>What\'s the point of going out? We\'re just going to end up back here anyway</h6>
  • oily sailoroily sailor Posts: 235
    Aye, he's not exactly clear on the matter.

    Still loved the way he didn't drop the food out of his mouth when he went off the side of a mountain in the 2005 tour.

    "dogged"
  • EurostarEurostar Posts: 1,806
    Been trying to check out the Velonews story. The original source is Agence-France Presse, who say: "Tour de France chief Christian Prudhomme affirmed to AFP they will refuse entry to any rider or teams failing to sign the anti-doping pledge. "We will block their entry to the race," Prudhomme told AFP, adding that the UCI's "positive" measure came in the wake of a letter he sent to all participating teams last week. According to Prudhomme, three teams - T-Mobile, Rabobank, and Agritubel - have already responded."

    Note the word "responded" - I suppose that means the teams have told Prudhomme they will sign or might sign, but haven't done it yet.

    The bookies have got Vino, Valverde and Kloden as the favourites. Suppose they withdraw...Leipheimer (16/1) and Cadel Evans (18/1) start to look very interesting...
    <hr>
    <h6>What\'s the point of going out? We\'re just going to end up back here anyway</h6>
  • kavcpkavcp Posts: 101
    This is going to be very interesting, it's obvious that the UCI and ASO are trying to smoke people out and given the public, media, sponsor pressures it might just do the job. The fly in the ointment is the bleating from Moser and his ilk. While I agree that the focus only on the riders is out of proportion to the problem, they should campaign to get this bias redressed. They are also seemingly opposed to the handing over of DNA and while this might seem unnecessary and/or unproductive from their view point they should be working on the long term process of how handling of DNA will be addressed.

    In the short term, cycling has dug itself into a hole and they've been offered a chance to stop shovelling and demonstrate to the world - ahead of cyclings one truly global exposure - that they are happy to cooperate with a view to salvaging the sports' reputation. That should be their short term focus to avoid a scandal at the tour that would harm their members far more than signing away their DNA <i>should it be required</i>.

    There is more to lose by not signing you would think.
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