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Team CSC Anti-Doping Program - 6 Month Report
By Vaughn Trevi
Date: 6/21/2007
Team CSC Anti-Doping Program - 6 Month Report

Team CSC Anti-Doping Program  - 6 Month Report
As promised by Doctor Rasmus Damsgaard and Team CSC; the results of the CSC Anti-Doping initiative for clean sport are public.

Today we start a new era in team transparency and Anti-doping efforts led by Team CSC and Dr. Rasmus Damsgaard with the release of the overview of six months of testing with over 400 doping tests of the Team CSC riders initiated in December. Today is a beginning...

Over 400 tests have been conducted in what Rasmus Damsgaard and Bispebjerg University Hospital consider the most extensive anti-doping program in the history of the sport.

All 198 urine samples have proven negative and all 225 blood tests have shown to be below both the UCI limits and the significantly lower limits set by Dr Damsgaard for the program.

So-called “blood profiles” have been created for all Team CSC riders and with no exceptions they all show a continuity, which lies within the physiological norm for any normal human being.

The 28 Team CSC riders have all been submitted to countless out of competition tests, which has been one of the key elements of the program.

”The program has had three main objectives: To catch cheaters and detect doping, to set entirely new standards for the future fight against doping and to maintain the health and integrity of the riders. We have created the most rigid testing system in the entire history of the sport, and none of our results have indicated anything suspicious whatsoever. Both I and the UCI consider this program groundbreaking and in future it will hopefully gain a lot of support from the sports world in general.” says Dr Damsgaard.

The UCI President Pat McQuaid praises the program with the following words:
”The UCI applauds Team CSC for their efforts to rid professional cycling of doping. The CSC Anti-Doping programme is strong, independent and transparent. Their riders are subjected to many different types of testing throughout the year."

"Testing is planned and coordinated independently through Bispebjerg Hospital in Copenhagen. The UCI has access to all testing plans and outcomes. Results are managed by the UCI in accordance with UCI rules. More importantly, Team CSC is making genuine efforts to change their team culture so that riders no longer feel the need or pressure to dope. The combination of CSC’s strong anti-doping programme with their equally strong culture of hard, clean riding is certainly an example for other ProTeams to follow” says McQuaid."

Bjarne Riis, who has taken the initiative to start the program, says:
”First and foremost the riders and our sponsors deserve major credit for their great efforts and support for the program. They have all contributed to this historic initiative, which is truly a milestone in the fight against doping. I have never doubted, whether it was possible to implement such a system on our team, because I know, what we stand for. We want to play a big part in creating a healthy future for cycling and with the implementation of this program as well as the test results being made public today, we have taken a giant leap in the right direction,” says Bjarne Riis.

Press Release concerning the Team CSC Anti-Doping Program:

Results and Scope of the Project:
“Team CSC Anti-Doping Program” has three aims:
1. To catch possible cheaters within the team
2. To set a new precedent in the anti-doping framework
3. To ensure and protect the health and integrity of the riders

Ad. 1. All 198 urine tests have been negative and all 225 blood tests have been within the limits set by UCI.

Ad. 2. The extensive, out-of-competition test strategy is meant to put pressure on anti-doping authorities and other cycling teams to improve their anti-doping regimes so that more cheaters can be detected. The program has inspired UCI to launch the “100% against doping” campaign. In addition, other professional cycling teams seem to be interested in establishing similar programs for their team.

Ad. 3 Educating the riders throughout the program about their own physiology and giving them the possibility to see specifically how their values react to illness, travel, overtraining, altitude, competition etc. And, equally as important, creating an independent medical profile to protect the riders from false or unsubstantiated allegations.

These aims have successfully been obtained which puts this program well ahead of any anti-doping activity taking place in sports today.

Testing and Collection of Results
Collection of tests has been carried out unannounced and in mainly out-of-competition (85% of all tests). Urine and blood samples have been collected by the UCI certified, independent Stockholm based anti-doping company, International Doping Test & Management.

An equal number of tests will be obtained during the remainder of 2007, amounting to a total of more than 800 tests.

The tests include blood for blood profiles, blood transfusions and growth hormone, and urine tests for steroids and EPO. The medical personnel testing the riders are responsible for taking samples whenever they see fit; riders are contractually required to advise them about their whereabouts at all times so that they are tested without prior warning.

The collection has taken place on four continents with the majority of tests planned during the out-of-season and pre-season period. On average, each rider has been tested 15 times; In the first four months of the program, each of the 28 Team CSC riders were tested more than any professional football player or basketball player will be tested in their entire career.

All tests have been done under the WADA Code, analyzed at WADA accredited laboratories and made available to the UCI. Now, after enough data has been accumulated, the aggregate results are being made available to the public. This strengthens the fact that this program is fully transparent.

Test results are forwarded by the WADA accredited laboratories to the UCI (and if “positive” to WADA) before the results are presented to the program manager and lastly to the Team CSC. No interference or tampering with results is possible.

Administration of Measurements
When more than four blood screenings have been determined an individual blood profile can be constructed and the likelihood of the magnitude of future blood samples can be established. Therefore a database has been constructed in order to follow the profiles of each rider facilitating a possible immediate follow-up test if needed.

Rasmus Damsgaard MD, PhD
Bispebjerg University Hospital

Click on graphs below for larger images.


Click on graph for a larger image
# Possible natural high hemoglobin in a young rider
* UCI permission for exceeding upper limits due to documented natural high hemoglobin
$ Blood collected after days of high intensity competition.

Green: UCI Upper Limit
Red: CSC Upper Limit
Black: Average Normal Population

Left to right:
Rider - Minor Variations:
Blood profile with a minimum of variations in hemoglobin (grey bars) and reticulocytes (black line)
Rider - Normal Variations: Blood profile with normal variations in hemoglobin (grey bars) and reticulocytes (black line). In addition to 6 out of competition EPO and steroid tests, this rider had specific follow up tests for EPO and blood transfusions - all negative.
Athlete (Non Cyclists) Positive for EPO: Blood profile with a characteristic "wave like" pattern in an athlete tested positive for EPO in February 2002. The reticulocytes (black line) shows major variations with concomitant increases in hemoglobin (grey bars).

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