June 17/09 13:26 pm - UCI Announces First Riders Caught by Biological Passport Program
Posted by Editor on 06/17/09
Following the announcement made by UCI President Pat McQuaid in Paris on June 10th, 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.