As they did for Paris-Nice and Four Days of Dunkirk, The French Cycling Federation (FFC), Movement for a Credible Cycling (MPCC) and French National Cycling League (LNC) have taken blood samples during the Criterium du Dauphine to measure cortisol levels. Intra-articular corticosteroid injections have to be validated by the team doctor who will prescribe eight days off–race. In case of low cortisol levels, the rider cannot start the next stage.


Due to low cortisol levels, Europcar rider Pierre Rolland should not have started the 8th stage of the Criterium du Dauphine this Sunday. MPCC states that it will “listen to the explanation given by the manager so that the board of directors can assess and state on this problem”. It’s important to remind that these controls are part of a health monitoring program, not anti-doping tests. They aim at prescribing a period of rest to a rider suffering, as demonstrated by low cortisol levels. Then, complementary analysis may be performed. Regarding these controls, MPCC rules are very clear, as it was specified on the information sent to the doctors of all team members, which stated that:


– When it comes to unexpected cortisol levels controls in competition, blood samples are taken by accredited laboratory biologists, members of RBML-Biomnis, approved by FFC / UCI.


– The samples are taken in each GS hotel between 6.30 and 9.00. Riders do not have to be fasting.


– The samples are taken by the laboratory itself under the conditions required by law. Samplers have with them an engagement letter signed by Dr. Armand MEGRET.


– The same dispositions (cortisol levels abnormally low bringing about resting) are also valid for biologies carried out by UCI.


– There is only one accredited laboratory per collection day.


– The laboratory is different depending on the day and place of the race. All of the laboratories are RBML members and meet the same requirements before the law.


– The day of sampling, the same controller makes the determination of plasma cortisol for all riders.


– The results are reported in their entirety by the medical expert (Dr. Armand MEGRET) on the same day to the team doctors, who then deliver them to the riders.