No more blood tests. Closer, temporally, departures and ends of the tests. More numerous, too, outside the competition period … In short, a "Increased aggression" in the implementation of anti-doping controls, this is what the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC) demands from the International Cycling Federation (UCI).
This association, which brings together seven of the eighteen teams of the World Tour, the highest division of cycling, and which aims to "defend the idea of a clean cycling", has explicitly made it known by disclosing, in a statement issued Wednesday, December 3, its exchanges with the UCI.
It was the "Operation Aderlass" ("bleeding", in German) that served as a detonator. The German police investigation into a blood doping network organized around Erfurt doctor Mark Schmidt, arrested on 27 February, led to the indictment of fifteen sportsmen. Including several cyclists.
One of them, Autricihien Georg Preidler, was part of the French Groupama-FDJ team. He had previously raced for the Dutch team Sunweb. Marc Madiot, and Iwan Sperkenbrik, the managers of these two teams, who are part of the MPCC, passed on October 16, the other members of the MPCC information that communicated to them the rider (who resigned from Groupama-FDJ and summer suspended 4 years).
"Mafia doping protocols"
In the light of what the testimony revealed, the MPCC expresses its "Fear that there are mafia doping protocols set up outside the cycling teams". It also reminds "No runners whose involvement in the Aderlass operation has been proven to have been tested positively" and "It is the work of the police which allowed these regrettable discoveries".
This led the association of cycling teams to formulate the following requests, in a letter sent on October 17 to the UCI:
- increase the number of blood tests, especially out of competition during holidays and long breaks in the middle of the season of the runners.
- perform these blood tests closer to the start and as soon as possible of the arrival of the races.
In the statement issued Wednesday, December 3, the MPCC also reports the elements of response provided by the UCI on November 5.
In particular, the International Federation wanted to recall its actions. She pointed out that, on the schedule of the controls, the process has already been implemented. "To the extent of the difficulties involved (…) and the applicable rules,including WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) guidelines on the biological passport. "
She also recalled that the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF), an entity mandated by the UCI, "Takes the maximum number of samples within the limits of its budget, while giving priority to targeted controls. "
The UCI has also indicated that itit is obvious that the CADF (…) controls the riders during the periods " out of competition that the MPCC refers to.
Call for an investigation on the use of Aicar
The MPCC claims moreover "The initiation of an investigation into the alleged use of" powder "(Aicar?) That could potentially be used by some riders or teams in cans in the final races".
The "Aicar rumor" has been running since the beginning of the year in the Belgian and Dutch squads. Aicar is a pill that promotes the burning of fat and strengthens muscles. Last year, this product, which had been much talked about ten years ago, would have reappeared in powder form.
The UCI responded to the MPCC that the CADF "Investigates not only the use of Aicar but also the use of any other substance that may be widespread within the pack".
At the end of May, WADA asked a handful of laboratories to implement an advanced method of detection of Aicar, which only the one in Cologne (Germany) controls today.
Reiterating his wish to be "Even more impactful" In implementing anti-doping controls, the MPCC concludes by pointing out that while its members "Are tormented by the issue of sports equity in the world's biggest cycling events in which they take part", these would like that " the cheaters " the same "By what the fight against doping reserves for them".