Cortisol levels: MPCC’s answer to LottoNL-Jumbo

MPCC takes note of Dutch team LottoNL-Jumbo’s decision to stop applying the rules respected by the other team members of the organization. MPCC maintains its regulation applicable to corticosteroids.

 

In a press release dated on 10th of June 2015, LottoNL-Jumbo announced its decision to quit MPCC by reconsidering the Article 9 of the internal regulation. This stipulates that « in case of unusually low cortisol levels, competition will resume after an additional 8-day rest minimum and back-to-normal cortisol levels. » This article has been existing since the establishment of the movement in 2007. Any team which wants to be part of MPCC fully acknowledges the full internal regulation, which is yearly approved by the General Assembly in the presence of movement’s members.

 

Thus, on 21st of October 2014, MPCC’s General Assembly unanimously approved its internal regulation for the year 2015. Outside the general meeting, team physicians even asked for « the number of cortisol tests, procuded several times a year on a voluntary basis, to be increased. »

 

These same physicians also asked international expert opinions to support the recommendation of French experts Yves Le Bouc, Martine Duclos and Michel Guinot (doctors appointed by the French Cycling Association) in order to reach a shared position on corticosteroids use. In beginning of April 2015, U.S. endocrinologist expert Jonathan Ownby reinforced the position adopted by MPCC members. Other opinons are expected soon by the MPCC. Like any other team member, LottoNL-Jumbo recommended the opinion of an international expert of their choice, who never replied to MPCC’s requests.

 

In addition to that and after team member physicians request, MPCC reminds that a number of requests, related to the implementation of the regulation of corticosteroids use, has been sent to Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and World Anti Doping Agency (WADA).

 

According to MPCC Board members meeting in Lyon on 8th of June 2015, there is no reason to grant LottoNL-Jumbo’s request, to avoid proceeding to cortisol level tests on the coming races. No change in the internal regulation can be adopted before the next General Assembly planned in October 2015.

 

More than 1,300 cortisol level tests have been performed on riders of MPCC team members since 2009. Only 7 samples revealed unusually low cortisol levels in that period. The Board is surprised to observe that the cortisol level of a rider on inhaled corticosteroids treatment has not been better monitored by LottoNL-Jumbo medical staff in the days prior to 2015 Giro, especially in the light of a first case of unusually low cortisol level faced by the team at the start of 2013 Vuelta.

 

In conclusion, the MPCC Board reminds that the health of the riders and full respect of the rules abided voluntarly by the members remain the fundamental principles of the movement.