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Saturday 01, Oct 2016

  UCI Lobbying WADA To Ban Tramadol

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UCI President Brian Cookson has expressed his disappointment over the fact that Tramadol, an opioid pain medication used to treat moderate to moderately severe pain, is still not added to the list of banned substances of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Cookson added we are pretty clear that this is something that is being abused. The UCI President said it is years now and it goes back before his time. Cookson said his predecessors asked WADA to look at this and it has been on the watch list for all these times and further commented that they looked at it again this year and have concluded that there is still not sufficient evidence to put it on the banned list.

A UCI spokesman said the world governing body of cycling is pushing WADA to tackle the issue. The spokesman added the UCI in March 2011 formally requested that WADA consider adding Tramadol to the List of Prohibited Substances. The UCI spokesman said the UCI expressly reiterated its request in 2015 to WADA to include Tramadol on the Prohibited List and added we have this year again reiterated our request to have Tramadol banned in-competition. It was further remarked by the spokesman that we along with Cycling Anti-Doping Federation are currently lobbying to have Tramadol included on the Prohibited List.

In November last year, Cycling Anti-Doping Commission director Francesca Rossi had claimed there would be around 675 positive tests if Tramadol was added to the WADA banned list. Used as a painkiller, Tramadol has side effects including drowsiness, nausea, and dizziness and the substance has been blamed by many for crashes within the peloton.

In 2014 former pro Michael Barry acknowledged in his autobiography that Tramadol was used by riders when he was part of Team Sky. Barry added he frequently saw them being administered it prior to his retirement in 2012. Team Sky then urged the opioid to be added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned list. The Team called for Tramadol to be outlawed so its use can be regulated using therapeutic use exemption certificates (TUEs). A Team Sky spokesperson had then remarked none of our riders should ride whilst using Tramadol and added Team Sky do not give it to riders whilst racing or training, either as a pre-emptive measure or to manage existing pain. The spokesman went on to add then that we believe that its side effects, such as dizziness and drowsiness, could cause issues for the safety of all riders and added we also feel that if a rider has the level of severe pain for its appropriate use they should not be riding.

Barry was a witness in the United States Anti-doping Agency investigation into the United States Postal Service team that resulted in the downfall of Lance Armstrong after which he confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs at the end of his career. Barry also admitted he made use of Tramadol to treat legitimate complaints but got worried he researched about the drug on the internet.

Last month, a WADA spokesman confirmed nothing will change for next season. The spokesman added Tramadol is on the monitoring program, on the watch list and also remarked it was there for 2015, and it is remaining there in 2016 and so it would not be on the prohibited list.

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Wednesday 11, Mar 2015

  UCI Colluded With Lance Armstrong, Says Report

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UCI Colluded With Lance Armstrong, Says Report

A 227-page report by the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) was published on Monday after a year-long probe. The report criticized the UCI, the world governing body of cycling, for allowing doping and covering up Lance Armstrong, the sport’s star rider.

The report also criticized former UCI leaders Hein Verbruggen and successor Pat McQuaid for letting doping flourish and breaking rules. The present UCI President Brian Cookson said Verbruggen should give up his honorary presidency and added that cycling still has “an endemic problem of lower-level doping.”

The UCI chief remarked the advisers of Lance Armstrong were allowed to become “directly and heavily” involved in Emile Vrijman’s 2006 report. Vrijman, the Dutch lawyer, was examining accusations by L’Equipe newspaper in 2005 that Lance Armstrong took Erythropoietin (EPO) in winning the first of his seven Tour de France titles. L’Equipe linked back-tested samples from the race to the cyclist.

 

The CIRC investigation found the UCI “purposely limited the scope of the independent investigator’s mandate” against the suggestion of Vrijman. It was also revealed that the primary goal was to ensure that the report reflected UCI’s and Lance Armstrong’s personal conclusions. It was also revealed by the investigation that the UCI exempted Lance Armstrong from rules, failed to target test him despite the suspicions, and publicly supported him against allegations of doping, even as late as 2012. It went on to add that the world governing body of cycling saw Lance Armstrong as the perfect choice to lead the sport’s renaissance after the Festina doping scandal at the 1998 Tour de France. It was also added that the fact that he was American opened up a new continent for the sport, he had beaten cancer and the media quickly made him a global star.

The report also highlighted decision of Pat McQuaid to allow Lance Armstrong to participate in the 2009 Tour Down Under even though the former American professional road racing cyclist hadn’t been in the testing group for the required period of time. The report says there was a temporal link between this decision, which was communicated to UCI staff in the morning, and the decision of Lance Armstrong, which was notified to Pat McQuaid later that same day, to participate in the Tour of Ireland, an event run by people known to Pat McQuaid.

After the report was published, McQuaid said if he had not put a lot of his time and energy into the fight against doping, as the report recognizes, and led to significant progress maybe he would have had more time to spend more time on governance and management which the report finds criticism with. He added the area which is under investigation is only one part of an enormously challenging role as UCI president and he is proud of his achievements in developing the sport globally.

Cookson, who set up the three-man CIRC panel, said Lance Armstrong had a positive test for cortisone, which was covered up – and assisted in covering up – by the UCI in 1999 and added that it the UCI was going to prioritize the image of the sport, the business of the sport, over the integrity and honesty of the sport and that was a very bad signal.

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Thursday 08, Jan 2015

  Anti-doping Regulations For 2015 Revamped By UCI

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Anti-doping Regulations For 2015 Revamped By UCI

The Union Cycliste Internationale, the world governing body for sports cycling and oversees international competitive cycling events, has revamped its rules in line with the new World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code.

The new rules now includes a 10-year statute of limitations (up from eight), more explicit consequences for riders who are found associated with banned individuals, the ability to impose anti-doping rule violations on individuals based upon third-party testimony, four-year bans for serious doping cases, and more clarity on Therapeutic Use Exemptions. The world governing body of cycling’s rules now allow it to ban and impose fine on teams for incurring multiple doping violations.

The new regulations allow the UCI to impose fines a WorldTour or Professional Continental team five per cent of their annual budget upon the second and the third confirmed doping sanctions in a 12-month period. Now, teams can face suspension from international competition for a period of 15-45 days upon the second notification of an anti-doping rule violation, depending on a decision by the UCI Disciplinary Commission. Previously, teams were punished only for an individual rider’s anti-doping rule violation in relation to a team competition, such as a team time trial or team pursuit, by result disqualifications.

Cheating cyclists who promptly admit to doping can have their doping ban reduced to two years depending on the seriousness of the violation.

A comment reads use or Attempted Use may also be established by other reliable means such as admissions by the Rider, witness statements, documentary evidence, conclusions drawn from longitudinal profiling, including data collected as part of the Rider Biological Passport, or other analytical information which does not otherwise satisfy all the requirements to establish “Presence” of a Prohibited Substance under Article 2.1.

The new UCI anti-doping regulations apply to everyone who is participating in cycling events in any capacity, and anyone associated with teams, support, or preparation of riders, whether they have a UCI license or not. The new rules state that any association by riders with a banned individual “in a professional or sport-related capacity” can result in an anti-doping rule violation. The specific language of the latest anti-doping regulations allows for a rider to receive punishment to be punished for associating not only with someone who has been banned for an anti-doping rule violation but also anyone who has been “convicted or found in a criminal, disciplinary or professional proceeding” to have done something that would constitute an anti-doping rule violation if the rules had been applied to them.

The world governing body of cycling also included a provision to apply the rules to individuals who are a “front or intermediary” for a banned person. The UCI however specifies that riders will be provided ample warning before they will be punished. Under the rules, it is necessary in order for this provision to apply that the Rider or other Person has previously been advised in writing by an Anti-Doping Organization with jurisdiction over the Rider or other Person, or by WADA, of the Rider Support Person’s disqualifying status and the potential consequence of prohibited association.

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Thursday 10, Jul 2014

  UCI Efforts To Stamp Out Doping Applauded By IOC

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Anti-doping efforts initiated by UCI, the world governing body of cycling, have impressed the president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach.

The IOC remarked Brian Cookson, the UCI president, and other UCI officials met Bach in Lausanne and briefed him on measures for protecting clean athletes and the integrity of the sport of cycling. Bach remarked the efforts of UCI to protect their sport from manipulation of any kind, in particular doping were indeed impressive.

Bach spoke positively of the progress being made by the UCI after having a meeting with the UCI President, UCI director-general Martin Gibbs, and IOC counterpart Christophe De Kepper in Lausanne. Bach remarked the UCI informed me of all the measures they are taking to protect their sport from manipulation of any kind, in particular doping and added these efforts are indeed impressive. The International Olympic Committee President added it was great to see all the stakeholders equally committed to the fight for clean athletes and remarked we also discussed the UCI’s contributions to Olympic Agenda 2020, which will be looked at in even greater detail by Working Groups, and we are thankful for their input.

Cookson thanked Bach for a positive discussion covering a range of issues and said it was very useful to talk with him on the Olympic Agenda 2020 review and, in particular, discuss how cycling can play its role in those plans. Cookson also said among other things we believe cycling can be a big part of the IOC’s sustainability and legacy work by helping bid cities transform themselves into places where cycling is a preferred way of getting around, making those cities better places to exercise, live and work.

The election manifesto of Cookson comprised primarily of adopting a “zero tolerance” approach to doping in cycling to combat problems in the sport. After defeating Pat McQuaid to become the UCI President last September, Brian Cookson decided to establish an independent audit for looking into the approach of the International Cycling Union (UCI). The audit recommended “urgent” improvements to the anti-doping practices of the world governing body of cycling. It recommended that the possibilities for advance-testing should be eliminated and a Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee should be established.

The audit team added that risk assessment should be regularized and documented as per the International Standard for Testing and communication between the CADF and LADS relating to results management should be clarified and formalized. It also remarked that UCI and Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) rules and procedures should be altered to align them with the revised World Anti-Doping Code. CADF looks after anti-doping for the UCI.

The audit team included Anne Cappelen, director of systems and results management at Anti-Doping Norway and Marjorit Nurmi, quality manager at the Finnish Anti-Doping Agency. After this audit, Cookson remarked he was pleased that the audit found that the Biological Passport program is outstanding and that results management is excellent and had remarked that the UCI will now make the necessary changes to policies, structures, and procedures in order to further improve the program and ensure compliance with the 2015 WADA code.

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Sunday 16, Jun 2013

  UCI-Lance ‘Collusion’ To Be Studied By Panel

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UCI-Lance ‘Collusion’ To Be Studied By Panel

UCI President Pat McQuaid has announced that an independent panel will be examining allegations that the UCI, the world governing body of cycling, was complicit in Lance Armstrong‘s doping.

Senior officials from UCI and the World Anti-Doping Agency will meet in Russia to discuss potential appointments to an expert panel of three members, according to McQuaid, who added that long-standing claims about the UCI and relationship with Lance Armstrong will be absolutely addressed by the commission. The collusion allegations include suspicious test results at the 1999 Tour de France and 2001 Tour of Switzerland, plus cash donations to UCI totaling $125,000 from the disgraced seven-time Tour de France winner.

In an interview, McQuaid said he would be very sure that the audit will show that there’s nothing untoward ever been done with Armstrong. Meanwhile, six critically important points were reported in a report by consultants Deloitte that was commissioned by the UCI to consult cycling stakeholders and fans after the Armstrong scandal. After processing 6,369 survey responses and conducting a series of working groups, Deloitte said the world governing body of cycling should act quickly and clearly in deciding how to investigate historic doping cases that could involve offering amnesty to riders and officials. Deloitte said in a report summary published by the UCI that any ultimate decision should be made only after consultation with WADA and USADA; the 12-page document didn’t mention the name of Lance Armstrong.

The UCI appears to be rebuilding relations with the United States Anti-Doping Authority and McQuaid, who met USADA chief executive Travis Tygart recently in Brussels, said the UCI and WADA-accredited labs were searching their archives for information about laboratory results of urine and blood samples given by Armstrong during his career.

The UCI and USADA have met on a regular basis since committing in January to an independent audit of the UCI’s anti-doping program and decision-making during the period of Lance’s career, McQuaid said. A previously-appointed commission that was investigating if the leaders of UCI protected Armstrong from scrutiny during his 1999-2005 run of Tour de France wins was closed by the UCI president in January this year and the latest, independent panel that is expected to take shape in St. Petersburg, on the sidelines of an Olympic gathering attended by UCI director general Christophe Hubschmid and WADA counterpart David Howman, is likely to include two officials experienced in anti-doping science and sports law.

McQuaid said the UCI will maintain that any decisions we took at the time were taken within the rules at the time, with all the knowledge we had at the time and experts in this field who therefore know what they are looking for, and what they are looking at and understand all the files they will be reading. After a scheduled June 12-13 meeting of the UCI’s management board in Bergen, Norway, their audit report is expected within several months and McQuaid said we will discuss what further measures we need to take in relation to looking at the past and dealing with the past.

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Friday 14, Dec 2012

  WADA Concerned About UCI Probe

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WADA Concerned About UCI Probe

A probe of the International Cycling Union’s relationship with Lance Armstrong may be boycotted by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) because of “significant concerns” about the review panel’s ground rules.

The anti-doping agency has been contacted by lawyers for a panel setup of three persons by the governing body for conducting an independent look into Lance Armstrong, the winner of seven Tour de France titles, and his interaction with the governing body of cycling, the UCI.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, or USADA, in August stripped Armstrong of his seven titles and imposed a lifetime ban for making use of prohibited substances after the cyclist opted not to contest charges of doping in arbitration. The decision of USADA was ratified by the UCI in October and the cycling’s governing body that Armstrong has no place in cycling. However, the leadership of the UCI was criticized in the aftermath of the Armstrong affair for failing to act sooner, and it set up the panel on October 22.

In a statement, WADA said it has some significant concerns about the commission’s terms of reference and has alerted the lawyers representing the commission of its concerns and added that WADA will consider seriously whether it can take part in the commission’s process if its concerns cannot be resolved as a result of a meeting.

The independent probe into the cycling world governing body’s handling of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal will be led by a former high-level judge. The panel is to be headed by former England and Wales appeals court judge Sir Philip Otton, “will look into the issues and allegations contained in the (United States Anti-Doping Agency) USADA decision relating to the Armstrong affair,” the International Cycling Union (UCI) said. UCI president Pat McQuaid said in a statement that the eventual report and recommendations of the independent panel are critical to restoring confidence in the sport of cycling and in the governing body itself and insisted his organization would “listen to and act on the commission’s recommendations”.

The governing body of cycling remarked that the International Council of Arbitration for Sport had appointed the members of the commission which also includes UK House of Lords peer and Paralympic champion Tanni Grey-Thompson and Australian lawyer Malcolm Holmes. McQuaid said the appointment of these three eminent figures demonstrates clearly that the UCI wants to get to the bottom of the Lance Armstrong affair and put cycling back on the right track and our critics now have an opportunity to be part of the solution rather than simply attacking the UCI. The statement said a hearing is scheduled to be held in London from April 9 to 26 next year, and the commission will submit its report to the UCI by June 1.

Recently, Australian sports clothing firm SKINS threatened to sue the governing body of cycling for $2.0 million (1.5 million euros) and alleged the organization harmed the company’s image by failing to crack down on doping and run a clean sport. In November, the UCI athletes’ commission also recommended tougher sanctions for dope cheats in a bid to improve how the sport is run and boost its tarnished image.

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Thursday 16, Apr 2009

  Johan Bruyneel Supports Armstrong’s Anti-doping Control

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Johan Bruyneel Supports Armstrong’s Anti-doping ControlLance Armstrong’s team manager and longtime friend Johan Bruyneel comes forward to support the champion’s denial of thwarting anti-doping control issue. Bruyneel strongly disputed the report that stated that the legendary cyclist deliberately stalled a representative of the French anti-doping agency (AFLD) during an out-of-competition test on March 17 this year.

Bruyneel stated that both, he and Armstrong were returning from a training session when they met the AFLD tester, who was waiting outside the cyclist’s home in Beaulieu-sur-Mer.

Various unsourced reports on several French Web sites and Radio Monte Carlo stated that Armstrong made the doctor, sent by the AFLD, waiting for 30 minutes behind a closed door before giving samples. The French daily sports newspaper L’Equipe also reported that the AFLD had filed a report in regard of the incident and also forwarded it to the UCI and WADA. During the incident, the cyclist was training in southern France for Milan-San Remo one-day race.

However, AFLD head Pierre Bordry did not confirm any details about the report. Bordry said, “I am not making any judgment on what is in the report, because I’m not certain that it’s an infraction.” He also said that he was waiting for a formal response from the UCI, an international cycling governing body. But, federation spokesman Enrico Carpani said that the UCI has no jurisdiction over this kind of issue. Carpani further added, “Any out-of-competition control made by a national anti-doping agency has to be managed by them.”

According to the law, the AFLD has the authority to test athletes, who are covered by the WADA code and are in France for any reason. The March training period was the cyclist’s first visit to the country as an active athlete after he made a comeback from his retirement. Since then, Armstrong has been tested several times by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

Earlier also this seven-time Tour de France winner had defended himself against doping allegations throughout his career. He told his online fans that it was his 24th anti-doping control test since his comeback after a three-year retirement. “Yet another ‘surprise’ anti-doping control,’” he said via Twitter. “This one from the French authorities. Urine, blood and hair! Classic, “he says. Armstrong further added that he was clear and was not complaining about these tests.