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WSJ - Anti-Doping Officials Step Up Cycling Oversight

Aug 3, 2009
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Anti-Doping Officials Step Up Cycling Oversight

Gotta love this nugget:

Pat McQuaid, president of the UCI, said the UCI has complied with all of the guidelines set by WADA for the Passport program and was unaware of any complaints about the UCI's handling of the drug testing program. "I contest that there is a lack of effort to catch drug cheats," he said.

Mr. McQuaid acknowledged that five riders the panel recommended for sanctions have not been identified or punished. He said the five cases had not been disregarded, but were still open and could still result in violations. He declined to comment on specific cases, citing a confidentiality clause in the UCI antidoping code.
 
Aug 3, 2009
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hrotha said:
Like, do they keep a pool of bannable riders in case they need a quick source of PR goodness?
Yes, and apparently somewhere along the line, the UCI adopted a different antidoping code from WADA...
 
Aug 3, 2009
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Dr. Maserati said:
The UCI must have been waiting for the checks to clear.

But seriously - this is big.
The WSJ - :eek: - talking about the UCI, and how WADA have said "Our job is to make sure the system isn't being sidestepped".
Basically, the WSJ just said that WADA has no confidence in the UCI WRT anti-doping, and that the UCI may be deliberately ignoring positive results.

Gee, where have we heard that before? It can't happen, it's impossible, right?
 
Aug 1, 2009
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On the other hand, it might also reflect a sensible prudence about bringing dubious and likely contentions passport cases. It's far from clear the passport is sufficiently reliable to hold up completely on its own as a concincing case. It's a good screen for candidates who should be targeted, but is open to interpretation on its own.

Not that I'm defending the UCI, which is less than an aggressive actor.

-dB
 
Aug 3, 2009
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Maybe "never tested positive" should be changed to "tested positive, but results dumped in Hein's/Paddy's waste bin"...
 
Jun 19, 2009
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dbrower said:
On the other hand, it might also reflect a sensible prudence about bringing dubious and likely contentions passport cases. It's far from clear the passport is sufficiently reliable to hold up completely on its own as a convincing case. It's a good screen for candidates who should be targeted, but is open to interpretation on its own.

Not that I'm defending the UCI, which is less than an aggressive actor.

-dB
To a point you're correct, it is based on interpretation.

But this is 5 out of 8 that the panel recommended - which got kicked upstairs and the UCI management (guess who) decided only 3 of the 8 would be subject to a hearing.

The 'expert' analysis of 5 was overruled by bureaucrats.

EDIT:
I have said the Biological Passport was "a drug test by committee" over the last year - and this incident sadly proves that.
 
May 25, 2009
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Dear Katherine Raderecht:

Time for an editorial for McQuad to step down as head of the UCI. They lost all credibility. In any other sport - every paper would be calling for this guys head. So sad, what these guys have done to the sport. It really is just like pro wrestling.

Anyone know if she is still the publisher?
 
Aug 13, 2009
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dbrower said:
On the other hand, it might also reflect a sensible prudence about bringing dubious and likely contentions passport cases. It's far from clear the passport is sufficiently reliable to hold up completely on its own as a concincing case. It's a good screen for candidates who should be targeted, but is open to interpretation on its own.

Not that I'm defending the UCI, which is less than an aggressive actor.

-dB
More likely the targets were too well funded, The UCI could not afford to pursue them
 
May 13, 2009
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This is huge. Bordry will be happy today. Interesting that WADA is not informed concerning violations of the blood passport, but has to be informed about any other positive doping test. This has to change, obviously.

And, of course, we have five examples of the UCI hushing up doping violations. Makes what Floyd said quite believable, doesn't it?

Who might those 5 riders be? Maybe someone who already donated money to the UCI? Or someone for whom this is not the first hush up?

Fun to see that whistleblowers coming out from all sides to sink the LA/JB/UCI ship. This one must have been one of the members of the scientific panel overseeing the passport program.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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Hey, this doesn't mean anything. It's just more trash from that Manhattan fishwrap.:rolleyes:
 
Feb 14, 2010
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David Howman, WADA's director general, said that in the last three weeks, the organization has taken steps to allow its staff to begin monitoring the blood and urine profiles of the sport's elite riders that are collected through the sport's Biological Passport program—and to push for sanctions when necessary.

"Our job is to make sure the system isn't being sidestepped," Mr. Howman said. "We have the right of intervening if we think cases aren't being prosecuted appropriately."
Travis Tygart, head of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, a member organization of WADA, said independent oversight is crucial to an effective antidoping program. "Outside the context of any specific situation or sport, we all know that it's awfully difficult if not impossible to both promote and police your own sport," he said.
Things like that have been said in the forum for ages, but to have heads of doping agencies say them in the WSJ is a step in the right direction. And I don't see McQuaid telling either of them they need to shut up.

I tried going through the WADA report from the 2003 Tour de France a few weeks ago, but it was in French. I did pick out that they pointed out a lot of flaws, and in the responses, the UCI pretty much just told them they were wrong. Since the inspectors were probably a bit more involved this time, there might be fewer written corrections, but this will still be an interesting read.

It's been a good week. The Holczer story let us know that teams do get tipped off in advance by the UCI, and that they cycling group is more concerned with avoiding positives than it is in stopping the cheaters. Then this new story meshes nicely with Armstrong's blood values from last year, and McQuaid's bragging that the Giro was clean because Basso's blood values dropped normally (as opposed to Lance's at TdF, the only other instance I've seen in the press).

I love that the non-cycling media is leading the way on these stories.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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The person said at least two members of the panel have voiced concerns that the UCI may be disregarding these positive tests or shielding guilty riders from punishment.
so who are the two who will soon resign or get fired or 'promoted' ?

here's the complete list of the current panel members with their specialties:
(the full list is actually rarely published and is not advertised by the uci)

olaf schumacher, sports physician
olivier hermine, haematologist associated with AFLD
michael ashenden -haematologist, member of WADA WG on blood parameters
michel audran - haematologist, member of WADA WG on blood parameters
bo berglund - haematologist, member of WADA WG on blood parameters
giuseppe d’onofrio - the only practising haematologist in the group and a true expert on blood transfusions - are u reading this mr novitzky ?, member of WADA WG on blood parameters
pierluigi fiorella-cardiologist
giuseppe fischetto, internist MD, member of WADA WG on blood parameters
robin parisotto, research scientist

we know it is not Olaf Schumacher.

my best guess would be 2 of the 3 guys in red above.
 
Jun 6, 2010
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Cobblestones said:
This is huge. Bordry will be happy today. Interesting that WADA is not informed concerning violations of the blood passport, but has to be informed about any other positive doping test. This has to change, obviously.

And, of course, we have five examples of the UCI hushing up doping violations. Makes what Floyd said quite believable, doesn't it?

Who might those 5 riders be? Maybe someone who already donated money to the UCI? Or someone for whom this is not the first hush up?

Fun to see that whistleblowers coming out from all sides to sink the LA/JB/UCI ship. This one must have been one of the members of the scientific panel overseeing the passport program.
it does seem that there may just be some sort of alliance operating in the chip chip chip targeting of the doping policy and controls for cycling.

some good may come of this
 
Apr 11, 2009
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+1 Some really good posts here.

The key question for me is the names of the 5 unidentified/unsanctioned riders. If they are lower level riders (in this case, not GT or classic winners) like the others who have been sanctioned so far, fine, maybe there was an element of doubt.

But if they are star GT/classic winners/teams, then heads should roll (starting at UCI). WADA has to swing the axe. This would be far more offensive than the doping infractions. No wonder McQuack has been so quiet these past few weeks.

The fact a very credible financial paper like the WSJ is onto the question of a conflict of interest says a lot. The financial press has lots of experience with these issues. It's not a fake or contrived issue. It's real.

Standard polite demurrals aside, the timing of Anne Gripper's leaving of the UCI makes even more sense now. Doubt she could stomach omitting the 5, esp. if "stars" of the sport.

*Resigned in Feb. vs. riders flagged Dec. (with only 3 of 8 identified in May*). :rolleyes: UCI would have been debating which riders deliberately to overlook/omit in the time window when Gripper resigned.

http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showthread.php?t=6155
 
IIRC, before Pellizotti, Valjavec and Rosendo were announced there were reports that 5-8 riders were to be announced (given weight by the suggestion of a Slovenian plus a leading Giro contender). The Russian, the other Spaniard and the other Italian that were rumoured never materialised. Also Carlo Scog. of ISD was reported, then retracted
 
I don't see the logic in withholding sanctions against 5 lesser-known riders. Pursuing sanctions would allow the UCI to again claim that it is fighting the war against doping and winning. It's a PR boon for them.

If those 5 are big-name riders, their sanctions would draw a stark contrast against McQuaid's comments that the war on doping has been won and no more doping cases will exist at the Tour. McQuaid can't claim that it's only the also-rans who happen to dope just so they can keep up with the talented "clean" riders.

My intuition is that these are 5 big-to mid-level names. Maybe not 5 GC contenders, but some well-known stagiares.

I would not be surprised to see Cancellara's name there.
 
Apr 28, 2009
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Moose McKnuckles said:
I don't see the logic in withholding sanctions against 5 lesser-known riders. Pursuing sanctions would allow the UCI to again claim that it is fighting the war against doping and winning. It's a PR boon for them.

If those 5 are big-name riders, their sanctions would draw a stark contrast against McQuaid's comments that the war on doping has been won and no more doping cases will exist at the Tour. McQuaid can't claim that it's only the also-rans who happen to dope just so they can keep up with the talented "clean" riders.

My intuition is that these are 5 big-to mid-level names. Maybe not 5 GC contenders, but some well-known stagiares.

I would not be surprised to see Cancellara's name there.
I would think it's up and comers that would tarnish his rhetoric of cleaner generation. Not the top names - because they would know how to get around tests - but young guys that are now on the fans radar.
 
Apr 28, 2009
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theswordsman said:
Things like that have been said in the forum for ages, but to have heads of doping agencies say them in the WSJ is a step in the right direction. And I don't see McQuaid telling either of them they need to shut up.

I tried going through the WADA report from the 2003 Tour de France a few weeks ago, but it was in French. I did pick out that they pointed out a lot of flaws, and in the responses, the UCI pretty much just told them they were wrong. Since the inspectors were probably a bit more involved this time, there might be fewer written corrections, but this will still be an interesting read.

It's been a good week. The Holczer story let us know that teams do get tipped off in advance by the UCI, and that they cycling group is more concerned with avoiding positives than it is in stopping the cheaters. Then this new story meshes nicely with Armstrong's blood values from last year, and McQuaid's bragging that the Giro was clean because Basso's blood values dropped normally (as opposed to Lance's at TdF, the only other instance I've seen in the press).

I love that the non-cycling media is leading the way on these stories.
It is the only media that can afford to write these stories. First off, most cycling media do not have investigative journalist in their midst, they have ex-cyclists that write. Second, they depend on access to cycling figures and do not want to jeopardize that. And of course third is the almighty dollar, and the ad revenues from sponsors that back the same cyclists under investigation.

While UCI is a major problem, I also take offense as some of the cycling media, that often all report from one press release or one AP article, re-interpreted and translated all over the world.
 
Aug 13, 2009
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I have heard rumors of the UCI ignoring Biopassport infarctions for at least a year.

Even Mr.Papp posted this a month ago

joe_papp said:
I don't know if you guys believe me or not, but since appearing at the Landis hearing, and being revealed to have established the world's first commercially-successful internet-based blood-doping facilitation venture, I have a significant amt. of interaction with both anti-doping authorities and criminal investigators.

So...after LA returned from retirement, I was speaking with a member of the biopassport committee, who at the time was considering quitting. He and his colleagues were reviewing profiles and he had found one that he believed to be clearly worthy of official scrutiny and merited opening a case against the rider who provided the samples. However, the UCI informed him (and his colleagues) that the sample in question belonged to someone who would not be investigated.

The scientist in question was convinced to not quit the biopassport program in protest, but he since began speaking more openly and honestly about his suspicions of past and present doping of the rider in question.
A couple months after Armstrong's questionable numbers Ashenden did this interview

http://nyvelocity.com/content/interviews/2009/michael-ashenden
 

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