This is the surprising finding our last update on the “Credibility figures” delivers to us in the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic – all sports included, mid-year, compared to the results on the same day last year.

Facing a decrease in the number of doping tests due to the scale of the situation, on May 23 the WADA conceded that public health came first, before the fight against doping. However, an observation is to be made: the number of alleged doping cases that came to light has increased as at mid-2020, compared to last year. We have identified 227 cases in the first half of the year, compared with 190 mid-2019 – even if our records are not meant to be regarded as exhaustive, given that some procedures remain confidential.

We must not draw hasty conclusions from these elements, because several cases released in the first half of 2020 can refer to tests performed last year. This is the reason why there is a lag between the date the sample is taken and the date the case is made public. Some of the sports federations make the choice not to communicate on a positive test before the case was concluded and the athlete effectively banned. The UCI, among some other federations such as the IAAF, prefers a more transparent approach by deciding to communicate on the alleged cases upon the commencement of the proceedings – that resulting in the provisional suspension of the athlete involved.

The comparison between cycling and athletics stops there: the number of cases reported in our sport follows a downward trend compared to last year. 7 is a twice-lower total for cycling versus 2019, as it should also be noted that only one rider among them is a member of a WorldTour team.

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.

Provided that the health situation doesn’t make this impossible, the main cycling schedule is expected to be resumed from the beginning of August. What is in store for the second half of 2020 regarding the fight against doping? In a release aimed at the athletes, the WADA made a first step in answering this question by stating its determination to overcome the delays with extra targeted controls. Athlete are now warned!