At a press conference in Paris today, the President of the International Cycling Union (UCI), Pat McQuaid, presented the anti-doping arrangements for the forthcoming Tour de France (nearly 520 controls will be carried out and samples will be retained for future analysis).
The UCI President, accompanied by the UCI Doctor Mario Zorzoli, and in conjunction with Mr Pierre Bordry, President of the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD), announced an agreement between the UCI and AFLD to collaborate on anti-doping controls during the event.
A similar agreement was reached for the Paris-Nice in March. Pat McQuaid and Pierre Bordry had then announced that the results of that collaboration would be evaluated with a view to continuing the cooperation. After a positive assessment, the decision has been taken to continue to work together on the Tour de France.
The UCI President is delighted with this collaboration and the return of the Tour de France to the UCI fold as part of the World Calendar : âFollowing the agreement between the UCI, the AFLD and ASO, it would be fair to say that the 2009 Tour de France will probably be the most rigorously tested event in history. This race is the cornerstone of cycling's heritage, and I can guarantee you that we are ready to do everything we need in order to protect itâ.
Pierre Bordry, for the AFLD, said "I am extremely happy with this agreement, which extends the one signed during Paris-Nice, with targeting being the major step forward. I would like to praise the UCI's determination in its fight against doping; they are on the same wavelength as us".
During the press conference, Pat McQuaid also informed the media of the current status of the biological passport and confirmed that the UCI is ready to commence proceedings on several cases. In accordance with the prevailing regulations, the riders concerned will be informed first, followed by their teams, National Federations, National Anti-Doping Organizations and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The UCI will then publish the names of the athletes in question. This will happen in the coming week.
Until then, the UCI will not make any further comment on the issue.
UCI Press Service