Credibility figures… pre-lockdown

Over the first three months of the year, only three doping procedures have been revealed in cycling. An encouraging figure in light of the 32 cases revealed in 2019?

 

Cycling was spared from doping revelations in the first quarter of 2020. As far as cycling is concerned, and aside from 2018 (only two procedures were revealed in the first quarter of the year), those are some of the most encouraging figures ever since we first established this barometer in 2014 — which is far from being the case in athletics, a field still troubled by the ever-increasing number of doping procedures (32 cases in a month, in addition to a case of corruption!)

 

As for the three cases in cycling, two come from women’s MTB. The third case concerns a former professional road cycling rider turned sporting director and whose revelation originates in the confession he made as part of Operation Aderlass (a case revealed last year in Austria involving athletes from various disciplines).

 

However, caution must be used in making definitive statements about both these figures and the “good practices” of the peloton as the riders have been forced out of work since mid-March — at the latest.

 

Several of them seized the opportunity to express their concerns about the careful observance of the antidoping rules, having noted that they hadn’t been tested as often as in the past over the same period of time; during the winter period as well as during lockdown the last two months.

 

The many riders contesting in the UAE Tour were first placed under a lockdown order in late February, an order that was extended to the majority of Europe shortly after. Those health constraints not only led to the interruption — or the cancelation — of all scheduled races, but they also clearly had an impact on antidoping tests outside of competition. It is worth noting, though, that the last race before global lockdown, Paris-Nice, had allowed Dr. Pierre Lebreton, our referring doctor, to carry out cortisol tests on MPCC member teams, and that all tests had returned negative in accordance with our movement’s rules. Article.

 

Since we know deviant practices are not limited to periods of competition, the prospect of competition returning in the second half of the year (UCI released a revised calendar for 2020) leads MPCC to believe there is a call for a quick reestablishment of antidoping tests outside of competition in order to ensure their credibility.

 

MPCC welcomes the gradual return of trainings (in compliance with social distancing requirements) as well as the agreement between the different parties on a heavily revised UCI calendar due to the health crisis, with the hope that each country’s public authorities will allow their respective races to take place in the light of the disease evolution.