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After the war between the UCI and A.S.O., a new war between the UCI and the AFLD

Added: monday 07 December 2009 at 1:13:00
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    After the war between the UCI and A.S.O., a new war between the UCI and the AFLDWhile A.S.O. and the UCI are working together in piece since August 2008 (see my article "Did the Tour de France and the UCI manage to find out how to continue together?) - and after the collaboration between the Agence Française de Lutte contre le Dopage (AFLD) with the UCI for the doping checks in the Tour de France - a new war has been declared between the UCI and the AFLD.

    It all started with a report the AFLD published early October.

    The AFLD report about the problems with the doping checks during the Tour de France 2009

    On October 5th the AFLD published a 10 page document based on the reports of the two doctors in the Tour de France 2009. This document was sent to the UCI, to the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA), to the Ministry of health and sports and to A.S.O., but also arrived on the desk of the French newspaper Le Monde the same day.AFLD - agence française de lutte contre le dopage

    This is how everyone knew, at the same time as the UCI, what the AFLD thinks about the doping check the UCI did and how the UCI representatives have given a preferential treatment to the Astana team according to the AFLD.

    On the same day, the UCI sent out a press release, which said it's unacceptable that the AFLD writes and publishes a unilateral report and that that report is sent to the press at the same time as it is sent to the UCI. The UCI also puts in doubt the reliability and professionalism of the AFLD in the same press release.

    Still in the same press release, the UCI reminds the readers of it that following the doubts the AFLD had earlier, there has been an investigation on a potential preferential treatment of the Astana team and that the results of this investigation clearly show this was not the case.

    In the AFLD report the main accusations were:
    • the UCI didn't guarantee the unannounced caracter of the doping checks, because
      - its representatives spoke about the upcoming checks loudly in a public place
      - the UCI did not consequently used chaperones who should accompany riders after having informed them of a doping check, in the morning before the start
      - the list of riders who were selected for a doping check was sometimes shown too early (30 minutes before the finish)
      - the UCI representatives would have informed one of the riders who were selected for a doping check, before the start of the team time trial in Montpellier
    • the UCI did not correctly organise the logistics around the chaperones because 3 of them didn't have a a chaperone blouse
    • the UCI didn't provide enough Notification forms
    • the UCI did not perform all doping checks within the correct time limits after having informed a rider:
      - some riders could come to the doping check more than 30 minutes after the notification
      - the doping check was delayed for 45 minutes on the morning of 11 July
      - the doping check of the Astana riders didn't take place on 25 July
    • the UCI representatives wrongly classified the doping checks in the morning or at night at the hotals as out of competition; this is quite important according to the AFLD since the list of prohibited products out of competition is much less strict than in competition and in this case no checks are done for stimulants and corticoids
    • the UCI allowed someone who wasn't allowed to do so to assist to a doping check for Lance Armstrong
    • the UCI was not able to guarantee the storage and transport of the samples in good conditions
    • Lance Armstrong got too much time before providing his samples; in this way he could rehydrate
    • the Astana team got a preferential treatment because
      - the riders of this team were always checked last
      - the whereabouts of the Astana riders rernners before the Tour were not always available
    The AFLD clearly states that the UCI created a preferential situation for Lance Armstrong and his Astana team mates.

    Immediately on the 5th of October the UCI said in her press release being willing to investigate the possibility to work with an independent partner for the doping checks on French soil and thus continue without the AFLD.

    The UCI's answer to the AFLD report

    UCI - union cycliste internationaleOn October 30th the UCI proudly announced having published the answer to the accusations of the AFLD in a 12 page document (the AFLD report was 10 pages).

    In this document the UCI first describes the partnership between the AFLD and the UCI concering the doping checks in de Tour de France 2009. This partnership, signed on 10 June 2009, described the collaboration between the UCI and the AFLD, according to the UCI with the only goal to show a good international collaboration on doping checks for the most important cycling event in the world. Indeed, the UCI clearly indicated she doesn't need the AFLD for the doping checks in the Tour!

    Within this partnership the AFLD provided the doctors who took the samples and collaborated with the UCI representatives. Furthermore, the UCI and the AFLD agreed on doing targeted checks of specific riders before and during the Tour.

    The UCI document than explains that the AFLD is not best in class either and that they should thus start working on their own internal organisation before criticising others. The two examples the UCI gives for this are:
    - the very small number of out of competition checks the AFLD did before the Tour and the fact that of the 13 checks, 6 were performed on French riders, 5 of whom being in the same team. These 5 samples were finally not tested because they have been sent to the lab with the names and other details of the riders, which meant the samples were no longer anonymous
    - the fact that a AFLD representative discussed the problems he had with one of the riders in the Tour de France 2009 while taking blood samples with a A.S.O. employee while the rules indicate that what happens during the collection of samples is strictly confidential
    Furthermore, the UCI says that doctors the AFLD should have sent to different UCI organised events in France didn't show up which means that a doping check became impossible during these events.

    Finally the UCI answers the AFLD accusations one by one in this document. I invite you to read the UCI answers yourself in this document.

    In answer to this document the AFLD simply sent out a short press release which indicates that the AFLD has taken note of the UCI answers to our report on the Tour de France 2009.
    The AFLD will provide its full analysis of these answers to the Minister of Sports, to the UCI and to the World Anti-Doping Agency. Until that time the AFLD will no longer publicly comment this case
    And that was indeed the last public communication of the AFLD about this case.

    The UCI indicates it will do the Tour de France 2010 without the AFLD

    Early December, Pat McQuaid (photo), the UCI president, participated for the first time to the executive committee of the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) representing the mouvement olympique. At this occasion he told the French sports newspaper L'Equipe in an interview that the UCI will perform the doping checks in the Tour de France 2010 without the AFLD: (in 2009) we tried everything we could to collaborate with the AFLD, but they blew up everything by undermining our position and the way we work with a public report which should have been something between the UCI and the AFLD.

    He also indicated he no longer trusts the AFLD with its current management (led by Pierre Bordry), but that the UCI does not have any problems with the lab in Châtenay-Malabry: it's a very good lab, one of the best in the world. His comment it's not the rules but just some people who give all these problems ... clearly indicates it's a problem with one person.

    WADA - world anti doping agency / AMA - agence mondiale antidopagePat McQuaid also said that the UCI's biological passport will continue following the new WADA rules, while when the biological passport was being developed by the UCI there was a lot of friction between the UCI and the WADA. At that time, according to Pat McQuaid, this was also due to one person instead of the WADA itself: the UCI just had a problem with the then president of the WADA (Richard Pound), who, wrongfully, criticised our fight against doping. He tried several times to blacken our good name and when the WADA decided to no longer collaborate with us that was a political decision (after Hein Verbruggen's, former UCI president, charge against Richard Pound, ex-president of the WADA, concering continuous negative statements).
    Concerning the fusion of the biological passport of the UCI with the Biological Passport of the Athlete - announced by the WADA after the meetings of its executive committee and its Conseil de fondation on 1 and 2 December in Stockholm (Sweden) and which allows to follow several biological values of a sporter thus allowing to detect any form of doping - McQuaid explained that we already have a passport which works fine but the WADA continues the work. As soon as their final guidelines are ready we will apply these on our passport as to follow their recommandations. In any case there can not be two or three types of biological passports.

    Following Pat McQuaid's statement, Pierre Bordry, the AFLD director, told L'Equipe: I don't want to engage a personal controversy with the UCI management since this would hide the real problem. The AFLD alerted them regularly, during the Tour, in July 2009, about the problems in the organisation of the doping checks during the Tour de France which was in conflict with the Code Mondial antidopage. No one can say that these problems have been discovered in a public report in October 2009. For the future it's important that these problems get solved.

    According to L'Equipe, the AFLD would have proposed the WADA to analyse the documents which prove the unprofessional way of working of the UCI representatives but the WADA did not yet respond to this proposal.

    Finally L'Equipe explains that the AFLD can hardly be put aside for the doping checks in the Tour de France because Rama Yade, the State Secretary for Sports, said she cannot imagine the Tour without the AFLD but most importantly because even though the Code Mondial antidopage, as the UCI says, indicates that the international federations are responsible for the doping checks in events they organise (that means: the UCI for the Tour de France) it also says that the national anti doping agencies (here the AFLD) have the right to request additional doping checks. If the UCI refuses this right the AFLD can ask the WADA for an arbitration. L'Equipe reminds that the AFLD recently did this - with success - for the Bercy tennis tournament.

    The verbal war has started ... we'll see what this brings in the Tour de France 2010 !

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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    this article appears in the following categories: Tour de France 2010| Tour de France| Doping | share on Facebook | delicious | twitter | Google | technorati


Currently 2 comments!
  1. Je ne crois pas qu' ASTANA EST été previlégié par apport aux controles anti dopage car la ou j étais placé a ANNECY , car les chaperones comme vous les appellés je les ai vu accueillir les coureurs a l arrivée pour les emmenés au controle........pffff..!! qu ils arrêtent avec ca , je ne crois pas qu Amstrong soit assez con pour se dopé sachant qu il serait talonné a ce sujet..qu il lui foute la paix ;

    | vaucaire Nath | wednesday 23 December 2009 at 21:11:48

  2. l UCI de mac quaid/verbruggen est corrompue

    | charles simons | monday 24 May 2010 at 23:35:28

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