Astarloa, De Bonis, Caucchioli, Lobato and Serrano are the 5 blood passport victims

Following the announcement made by UCI President Pat McQuaid in Paris on 10 June, and after having informed all the parties concerned (riders, National Federations, teams, National Anti-Doping Organisations and the World Anti-Doping Agency), the International Cycling Union announces that disciplinary procedures have been requested against the following riders for apparent violation of the Anti-Doping Rules on the basis of the information provided by the blood profile in their biological passports:



* Igor Astarloa Ascasibar (ESP)
* Pietro Caucchioli (ITA)
* Francesco De Bonis (ITA)
* Ruben Lobato Elvira (ESP)
* Ricardo Serrano Gonzalez (ESP)

The UCI emphasises that these proceedings are being initiated as a result of the recommendations of the independent experts appointed when the biological passport programme was launched.

Since the introduction of this new programme, the regular analysis of individual profiles has not only led to the proceedings described above, but has also confirmed the result of sample analysis for riders who have tested positive for prohibited substances such as EPO and CERA and has allowed increasingly effective targeting of riders for out-of-competition anti-doping controls.

However, an assessment of the first year of the era of the biological passport would not be complete without mentioning the very encouraging fact that the overall analysis of the individual profiles of some 840 riders in the programme shows that a very large majority of their profiles do not display any anomalies.

The UCI is confident that the information obtained from the new approach, based on the indirect detection of doping practices, will greatly reduce the possibility of that cheating in the future by any athlete who decides to disrespect the rules of the sport remains undetected.

Furthermore, the UCI is aware that today's announcement is a very important step in the battle against doping. The UCI is proud, once more, to be the pioneering international federation in this field. After the introduction of blood tests in 1997 and the EPO detection test in 2001, it is now through the biological passport that the UCI is confronting the scourge of doping.

Although times are still difficult, this new step in anti-doping represents the dawn of a new future for cycling and sport in general. With this in mind, the UCI congratulates those who provided the inspiration for this groundbreaking initiative and also thanks all parties who have contributed to developing the biological passport (teams, organisers, riders and associations as well as scientific and sporting bodies) and who still offer their full and continuing support.

Each rider mentioned above shall be accorded the right to the presumption of innocence until a final decision has been made on this matter. Under the World Anti-Doping Code and the UCI Anti-Doping Rules, the UCI is unable to provide any additional information at this time.

UCI Press Service
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Bla ha...not even top guys in grand tours! get busted for autologous blood doping. Even more are jacked than I thought.

The one downside to the corruption is that the poorer (slower) riders are busted instead of the rich ones that feed the uci. So its obvious everybody 100th and above is totally JACKED. Thanx for that info...
 
Jun 15, 2009
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BigBoat said:
Bla ha...not even top guys in grand tours! get busted for autologous blood doping. Even more are jacked than I thought.
Still, an ex-world champion getting busted is pretty big news..
 
Mar 10, 2009
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It's just so obvious

BigBoat said:
Bla ha...not even top guys in grand tours! get busted for autologous blood doping. Even more are jacked than I thought.

The one downside to the corruption is that the poorer (slower) riders are busted instead of the rich ones that feed the uci. So its obvious everybody 100th and above is totally JACKED. Thanx for that info...
I guess when you hear voices the evidence is just so much more obvious. I don't know what evidence is available to you that makes it so obvious that the top 100 are "jacked" but maybe you could present it here. I think maybe you are just one of those guys who have decided that anyone that goes faster than you must be cheating. I am one of those unfortunate individuals that even if I could get every performance enhancement available i would et dropped in a cat 2 race, never mind a pro race. I guess that makes everyone a doper.

I know doping exists but what about dopes? They run wild on cycling forums everywhere. Maybe you should stick to the water. BTW the greatest source of income for the UCI comes from federations, Pro teams, and race organizers. The direct contribution from top or bottom riders is about equal.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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Well, these are the first five of 50, so there may be some big names to come, but it really does seem like the current anti-doping methodology ends up punishing small teams and individual riders who dope but don't have the money to dope really well and not get caught, whilst letting the teams with bags of cash and teams of doctors and lawyers get away with whatever they like.
 
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Anonymous

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BigBoat said:
Bla ha...not even top guys in grand tours! get busted for autologous blood doping. Even more are jacked than I thought.

The one downside to the corruption is that the poorer (slower) riders are busted instead of the rich ones that feed the uci. So its obvious everybody 100th and above is totally JACKED. Thanx for that info...
But the spin will be that it is just lower level talent looking to ride with the big boys. You have one guy who was going to ride the Tour on that list, and he wasn't going to sniff the top 10. What an absolute JOKE.

However, an assessment of the first year of the era of the biological passport would not be complete without mentioning the very encouraging fact that the overall analysis of the individual profiles of some 840 riders in the programme shows that a very large majority of their profiles do not display any anomalies."
55 bad apples. So only 6.5% of the peloton is dirty. I mean, if you take just the top 10 of the GT's for the last 9 years and figure out the percentage of them who were busted or involved in doping controversies, that has to be more than 6.5%.....right? (yes, I am aware that it is significantly higher) But today the UCI has shown that its weak and ineffective testing program has resulted in a major step forward in the fight against doping......

Thanks for nothing UCI.
 
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Anonymous

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Jamsque said:
Well, these are the first five of 50, so there may be some big names to come, but it really does seem like the current anti-doping methodology ends up punishing small teams and individual riders who dope but don't have the money to dope really well and not get caught, whilst letting the teams with bags of cash and teams of doctors and lawyers get away with whatever they like.
No, you don't understand. That is it. Those 5 guys are up for sanctions. The other 50 are just "suspicious" and will receive more testing......which means they will either have to be more careful or stop everything but autologous blood transfusions and make sure if the show up to test, they get the benefit of the Armstrong 20 minute shower rule. This is the whole enchilada.
 
Apr 9, 2009
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I want to hear the UCI come out and say, "Well looking back at Kohl's blood values during the Tour it's obvious he was taking transfusions, and we would have caught him if he hadn't been busted for CERA."

Ha!
 
May 8, 2009
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Jamsque said:
Well, these are the first five of 50, so there may be some big names to come, but it really does seem like the current anti-doping methodology ends up punishing small teams and individual riders who dope but don't have the money to dope really well and not get caught, whilst letting the teams with bags of cash and teams of doctors and lawyers get away with whatever they like.
Not correct. 50 riders will undergo targeted testing in the tour, they will still be able to ride however and will not undergo any disciplinary action unless they test positive in the tour.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Major misconception going around needs to be corrected:

The list of 50 does not contain 50 people with suspicious values. It contains 50 people that will be specifically targeted for extra testing, some of them due to suspicious values, and some of them quite simply due to being the top riders in the world at this time.

The top riders have always been the subject of more testing, that's perfectly normal.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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It's so ridiculous...

Look we got 5 guys, and look even further! none of them got any good results this year! Can't you see how doping is only for loosers or those who are old and have theier best day's behind them? Or, indeed, don't even race anymore like Lobato!

The system works!
The new era hast come!
 
Thoughtforfood said:
No, you don't understand. That is it. Those 5 guys are up for sanctions. The other 50 are just "suspicious" and will receive more testing......which means they will either have to be more careful or stop everything but autologous blood transfusions and make sure if the show up to test, they get the benefit of the Armstrong 20 minute shower rule. This is the whole enchilada.
It seems like YOU don't understand.

The 50 riders, McQuaid talked about (apparently being misunderstood, but nothing new there), was "just" 50 riders being targeted for extra testing at the tour based on their status. Read McQuaids clarification on CN if you're confused. He doesn't talk about anything "suspicious".

Nevertheless it's "sadly" enough not any currently big riders being sued. Astarloa, Caucchioli and Serrano have all made great results earlier, but haven't showed anything lately. That ought to make one wonder......
 
Mar 18, 2009
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I forget which thread that we were all having this debate, but what does everyone think of this now the results are out? Five riders. That's it. Four more-or-less no names and one ex-world champion who was fired by Milram last year as a result of irregular blood values (tested internally?). No Kohl. I was wrong about Valverde, but correct about everything else. No big names and the UCI giving themselves a big pat on the back. Again, good PR exercise but good for absolutely nothing else.
 
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Kazistuta said:
It seems like YOU don't understand.

The 50 riders, McQuaid talked about (apparently being misunderstood, but nothing new there), was "just" 50 riders being targeted for extra testing at the tour based on their status. Read McQuaids clarification on CN if you're confused. He doesn't talk about anything "suspicious".

Nevertheless it's "sadly" enough not any currently big riders being sued. Astarloa, Caucchioli and Serrano have all made great results earlier, but haven't showed anything lately. That ought to make one wonder......
I stand corrected....
 
Jamsque said:
Well, these are the first five of 50, so there may be some big names to come, but it really does seem like the current anti-doping methodology ends up punishing small teams and individual riders who dope but don't have the money to dope really well and not get caught, whilst letting the teams with bags of cash and teams of doctors and lawyers get away with whatever they like.
Nope they are not.

There is no list of 50. This was a misunderstandig by l'equipe. 50 riders are going to be extensively tested in the tour, to prevent doping

5 riders are suspicious, these 5. There was never a list of 50 suspicious riders.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Well, that's amazing news! 5 rotten apples have been removed from the basket, and we have a clean peloton in the Tdf! Pat's final solution seems to pay off big dividends.

I thought I would never see this happening. I am so happy, I am going to buy myself a pie to celebrate :)
 
Apr 19, 2009
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It might be that these were named first just because they are almost no-names. There is a chance that they might not fight it that hard in court, giving the UCI some presedence before going after the bigger apples.

Not sure if I believe this myself, but it's a possibility.
 
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Anonymous

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elapid said:
I forget which thread that we were all having this debate, but what does everyone think of this now the results are out? Five riders. That's it. Four more-or-less no names and one ex-world champion who was fired by Milram last year as a result of irregular blood values (tested internally?). No Kohl. I was wrong about Valverde, but correct about everything else. No big names and the UCI giving themselves a big pat on the back. Again, good PR exercise but good for absolutely nothing else.
So I guess we're left with Big Boat's scifi/horror version of things.

Which five riders would have made you happy?

Well, which four because one is obvious. :rolleyes:

I don't think theirs any possible outcome of this that would have assured you that they were getting a handle on things.

maybe someone should start a thread "which five riders would have satisfied you?"

has anyone involved in anti doping showed up here? Someone from uci or wada or ioc ect.
 
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Escarabajo said:
There are two as far as I am concerned. At least that's what they look like when they write posts.
i don't want to put words in your mouth.

what do you mean?
 
Apr 9, 2009
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The bottom line is that the UCI had to do something with the passport save face. You pick the most blatant offenders in order to ensure that you will likely win any legal challenges. If a rider's values are completely out of whack, it points to doping, but more to the point, poorly managed doping. It doesn't take much money or medical training to microdose epo or even do a transfusion (any M.D. could do it). But to do this and avoid irregular values in your blood count, I would think, would take a much more sophisticated treatment plan (enter the hematologist).

These riders are unlikely to dump a ton of money into a legal defense. Astarloa, as already pointed out, was already busted for this last year by his own team (Milram beat UCI to the punch).

Jackhammer, you are correct that this announcement is unlikely to convince anyone who already thought the UCI and the passport were a joke to think otherwise. If they had named 50 riders instead of 5, and in the process gutted the TdF field (as it was once believed was going to happen with OP), then it would be a different story. But pragmatically, that can never happen. In the end, we have each pro team paying, what, $100,000 euros so that 5 nobody riders can be weeded out?
 
Looks a lot like the UCI sacrificial lambs. pASSport covering.
A has been, some never weres, the already sacked and jobless.

Latest: Lampre's Pietro Caucchioli has been suspended by his team after being named by the UCI as one of five riders who showed abnormal values in the year-old system.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Bala Verde said:
Well, that's amazing news! 5 rotten apples have been removed from the basket, and we have a clean peloton in the Tdf! Pat's final solution seems to pay off big dividends.

I thought I would never see this happening. I am so happy, I am going to buy myself a pie to celebrate :)
I am so happy too! And think some of these rotten apples were so rotten that they were not even in the basket--being unemployed cyclists. We are so lucky to have the UCI watching over us. I believe with all my heart cycling will soon be as clean as baseball!
 
Mar 10, 2009
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I am wondering what criteria the UCI uses to set a baseline against which, in 2-5 years from now, they can evaluate whether or not the passport is a success. As long as we don't know what criteria they use, we are all at a loss. Mind you, even the biggest organisations sometimes do not have the ability, expertise, will power/back bone, resources or time to set up a new project with clearly identifiable base line criteria.

To take it further, if the success of the passport is determined by reference to a 'clean peloton', how would they ever be able to argue/prove that, as nobody seems to know how clean it actually is.

The official UCI story re doping, is that of a few rotten apples, which first of all could mean anything, but to hypothesise a bit further, and according to this story, we should perhaps assume that 4-5% dopes, perhaps slightly higher in big profile races. If we use TdF 2008, the confirmed dopers were Piepoli, Kohl, Ricco, Beltran, Duenas, Fofonov, Schumacher, which make 7 out of 180 riders equalling 4%.

The problem is as follows: How could one prove that either

A) many people were not exposed, although they doped
with the underlying assumption of the fallibility of tests, ie that tests are inaccurate or can't detect a number of prohibited substances or types of doping

B) all others did not dope, because they weren't exposed
based on the premise that tests are infallible.

In other words, is 4% an accurate reflection of dopers, or is it a highly inaccurate (too low) number?

I don't know the total number of pro riders that fall under the passport, but five riders having been caught through use of the passport, and I understand it is still in its initial stage, is rather low.

So, could the passport be called a success when out of the total pool of riders that are comitted to the passport (all current riders of the teams that contribute to the passport financially), 4-5% are detected?
 

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