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Team CSC Launches Anti Doping Program
By Staff
Date: 11/13/2006
Team CSC Launches Anti Doping Program

Team CSC Launches Anti Doping Program
Team CSC the number one team in the ProTour launches it's team joint anti-doping program and bold initiative with Rasmus Damsgaard and department Z at Bkspebjerg Hospital in Denmark. Fan Comments

This week, Team CSC and Department Z at Bispebjerg Hospital in Denmark launch their joint anti-doping program.

The project will be the most comprehensive test system in professional cycling today with close to 800 tests being collected from Team CSC riders starting December this year throughout the 2007 season. The main part of the tests will be collected Out of Competition and Rasmus Damsgaard, MD, PhD, will be supervising the program.

Dr. Rasmus Damsgaard
”This program is a truly unique piece of anti-doping initiative. It is groundbreaking in both its shape and content. For me the most important thing is to guarantee the Team CSC riders a better protection of their health. They should be able to compete in a safe and healthy sport, and this project will definitely enable them to do just that.

Hopefully it will also create a stir within the world of sports in general, hereby adding pressure so that more programs like this will see the light of day. This project with Team CSC will help show just how serious and uncompromising anti-doping work should be,” says Rasmus Damsgaard, who will begin his work in South Africa at Team CSC's first training camp ahead of the new season.

Bjarne Riis
”Our ambition is to be pioneers in the work against doping, so we are very proud to initiate this program. We have worked closely with Rasmus Damsgaard to develop the program and we think it gives us a unique possibility to do something for the future of cycling and maybe sport in general.

I have no qualms about submitting our riders to the most rigorous tests out there, because we want cycling sport to be a clean sport. I have faith in the fact that our riders have the right attitude and I would like for them to be able to show this to the world.

I am hoping this initiative will pave the way for other teams to follow and as a result help rid our sport of doping altogether. We have taken a very big step towards this and it will help demonstrate how serious we are about anti-doping, and at the same time we firmly believe that given the right conditions professional cycling has a great future ahead of it,” announces Bjarne Riis.

Fan Reactions from the Forums

"Chapeau CSC for instigating a strenuous anti-doping regiment.
T-Mobile and CSC are 2 of the bigger teams in cycling and both now have doping control programmes above and beyond the required by the UCI, it may be only a matter of time before other sponsors demand similar programmes from their squads especially if another scandal is exposed"  Jan the man

"I applaud Riis for this effort. I hope his riders perform. I hope Damsgaard has the race programs and someone in his hear telling them key stages etc, so magnify the focus.
Well done CSC!'
Chris t, Australia

"While both Damsgaard and Riis are committed to the new anti-doping programme with off-season tests and profiling, both are rather critical about the new vogue for DNA tests. Damsgaard finds the new proposals for DNA-testing pointless and unethical; Bjarne Riis calls the entire DNA-focus for "Pop" [smoke and mirrors].

"Our problem is not about DNA. It is much more important to get all the implicated parties [i.e., the Cycling World] to understand that we have some rules that we have to follow. It is about all parties doing the right thing. If we all strengthened our doping programmes [i.e., like CSC], then DNA wouldn't even need to be a subject."

In any case, it is now official that Damsgaard will be monitoring Team CSC through 2007 [Shame on those of you who doubted Riis would implement this because of money.

It will be interesting to see how things go in the coming year for the team. Several anti-doping experts were early out to castigate Riis that Damsgaard would be a "boomerang"; i.e., that either Riis would have to "hobble" Damsgaard (thereby forcing Damsgaard to abandon the team and blowing the PR stunt up in his face), or accept that his team won't perform. So far, Riis has faith in his team... big question mark.

Finally - one wonders what effect this will have on other teams and the UCI. The UCI asked both Team CSC and T-Mobile to "hold their horses"; Riis (and T-Mobile too, I think) have simply decided to ignore them. Hmm...

"I didn't doubt that CSC's individual efforts were worthy and the direction all cycling ought to go, I commented on the rumors that UCI was trying to put a hold on those efforts.
Again, nice to know that real cycling insiders and an expert on doping agree that DNA isn't the real answer, longitudinal studies and more out of competition testing is the way."

"What I'm most interested in is whether they will go forward with the ideas Damsgaard proposed to make the blood profiles of the team public (anonymously, of course). Without that added step of openness to public scrutiny, I think it will be difficult to really get the full benefit of the programme."

Wow! Are they seriously considering this? That would sure be something. I remember David Millar suggested making HCT values of riders public some time before his comeback. Seemed to good to be true though.
Bjørn P.Dal

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