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Title:

Press release : AFLD report: conclusions are groundless

Date:

05.10.2009

Description:

This morning the International Cycling Union (UCI) received a report drawn up by the AFLD (French Anti-Doping Agency) on the procedures of the testing carried out during the 2009 Tour de France. The report was simultaneously released to the media; this was probably not by coincidence.

Firstly, the UCI considers the manner in which Mr Pierre Bordry and his colleagues have proceeded to be completely unacceptable.

While the UCI and AFLD together agreed a programme of testing for the 2009 Tour de France, the AFLD has drawn up and published a unilateral report, without giving the UCI the opportunity to study it and correct any erroneous comments that it may contain. This is certainly not what one would expect from a professional, reliable partnership working together in the battle against doping.

As to the substance of the matter, the UCI considers the accusations made by the AFLD against officials sent to the Tour de France to be completely unfounded and indeed very serious. The UCI fully respects the obligations arising from the World Anti-Doping Code: the equality of treatment of teams and riders is meticulously guaranteed, testing conditions completely conform to the prevailing standards and the rules on storing samples are rigorously observed.

Furthermore, the UCI recalls that as a result of concerns previously expressed by the AFLD, it had already conducted an investigation on the treatment of the Astana team. This clearly showed that the Astana team had not been favoured in any way.

More generally and with a view to constantly improving the effectiveness of the battle against doping, the UCI had committed itself to a close collaboration with the AFLD after the latter had requested that our Federation was the sole organisation responsible for anti-doping at the 2009 Tour de France. Unfortunately, this experience showed that the AFLD only emphasises what it considers to be the practical failings of the other parties in order to insinuate that they had acted incorrectly throughout.

This attitude is not appropriate and does not give credit to the enormous amount of work carried out by many people during the three weeks of the event under the scope of an intensive anti-doping programme that is the most complete and sophisticated implemented for any sporting event outside the Olympic Games.

Finally, the UCI considers it very disappointing that the good operational partnership put in place for the 2009 Tour de France has been undermined by Mr Bordry’s pursuit of media attention, which seems also to have had the objective of sabotaging the efforts of the UCI and its partners in recent years with regard to the fight against doping. This has led the UCI to wonder about Mr Bordry’s actual intentions.

Consequently, the UCI will now study the options for collaborating with a neutral partner for anti-doping controls on French soil. Such an option has already been implemented by other International Federations.

UCI Press Service

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