MPCC alerts UCI to the urgency of going even further with the fight against blood doping

 

 

 

During the General Assembly that took place on last October 16th, Groupama-FDJ manager Marc Madiot and Sunweb manager Iwan Spekenbrink informed the Movement of an interview they had earlier this fall with Georg Preidler, former member of both teams. On March 4th 2019, the Austrian rider, who was a member of MPCC as an individual, confessed his involvement in the operation Aderlass (Cross-country skiing and cycling) and offered his resignation to the Groupama-FDJ team. A few months later, the information he provided to his former employers were transmitted to MPCC. The Movement then sent a letter to the UCI.

 

Several measures suggested to the UCI

 

MPCC wanted to draw UCI’s attention on the necessity to increase the number of blood tests, especially outside of competition. This proposition relies on the information we gathered, which hints on the existence of mafia doping protocols outside of the teams’ structures.

 

Furthermore, in MPCC’s opinion, the way these tests are carried out must be redefined. A formal request has been issued, aiming at running these tests closer to the start of the race and as soon as possible after the finish. Georg Preidler’s testimony is a clear warning sign on this issue.

 

MPCC also advises UCI to be even more vigilant during the holiday periods of the riders, or during the long breaks they may take in the middle of the year.

 

In its response to MPCC, issued on November 5th and signed by its president David Lappartient, UCI reminds that it is “known as the anti-doping organisation which draws the bigger number of blood samples, following the biological passport guidelines” and that CADF (Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation), a UCI-appointed entity, “draws as many samples they can, within the limits of its budget, while favouring targeted tests”.

 

 

Regarding the timing of the tests, UCI says that in 2019, several tests were carried “on the departures’ sites, with all the trouble it implies”. MPCC obviously supports this process and hopes to see it develop further more. MPCC teams will always support such tests despite the logistical constraints they require.

 

 

MPCC hopes that WADA is following the issue closely and welcomes its new President Witold Banka to ask MPCC for any information.

 

In its response, UCI also reminds that “UCI’s anti-doping regulation states that any athlete can be tested at any time and any place” and that “it is obvious that CDAF makes use of this opportunity and carries out tests during the periods” highlighted by MPCC.

 

While maintaining its full confidence in the UCI on the fight against blood doping, MPCC wants to remind that none of the riders who were part of the Aderlass operation were ever tested positive. These unfortunate revelations came from the police’s hard work only.

 

MPCC asks for more impact in the way controls are carried out.

 

Georg Preidler’s testimony, transmitted by his former employers Marc Madiot and Iwan Spekenbrink, caused a great worry among the members of MPCC, a concern that translated into the formal request for these tests to be carried out more aggressively by UCI and CADF. Teams, riders, technical staff, agents, federations, organizers and sponsors: more than 700 of them are members of the MPCC and support this increased aggressiveness.

 

On the basis of the testimonies it gathered, MPCC asks for a formal enquiry to open regarding the alleged use of a “powder” (Aicar-based?) that could be used by some teams or riders on the final parts of races. UCI responds that CADF not only investigates the use of Aicar but also any substance that could be broadly used within the peloton.

 

MPCC members are troubled by the question of sporting fairness on the biggest cycling races of the world that they take part in. They want the cheaters to be troubled in turn by what the fight against doping has in store for them. This fight will only be more effective if it feeds on any fact or intel that are provided to the bodies that lead it.

 

President Lappartient hails our actions, as MPCC is thankful to the UCI to be attentive to its recommendations and suggestions.

 

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MPCC also reminds that the movement is still waiting for some answers: - From WADA regarding tramadol being added to the list of the forbidden substances - From WADA regarding thyroid hormone being added to the list of forbidden substances - From WADA regarding new regulations on corticosteroids - From UCI regarding the set-up of cortisol test. MPCC also gives serious thought to the ketones issue, a very important topic in the 2019.

 

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