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A Tale of Two Positives - le Tour & Vuelta
 
By Guest Contributor
Date: 9/30/2010
A Tale of Two Positives - le Tour & Vuelta
 

A Tale of Two Positives - le Tour & Vuelta
Without a strictly enforced protocol for informing of a positive result, there will be cries of favouritism and speculation of cover-ups. Best practise must be put into place for the information relay.

Around the world today are headlines of “Tour de France champion tests positive for a banned substance!” That is all people will hear, and think:

                        “Cyclists- Drugs- What’s new!?!”

By Myles McCorry

Please for a second suspend your own judgment on Alberto’s guilt or innocence and look at how the case has been handled. We are asking the question: Why today, during the Elite world championship time trial is cycling’s image tarnished?

Alberto Contador’s sample taken from the second rest day of the race on July 21, contained traces of the drug clenbuterol – which WADA considers to be an anabolic agent used to build strength. Contador found out on August 24th just over four weeks later, that both his A and B samples had proved positive for traces of the drug.

 UCI president Pat McQuaid was asked yesterday by Hans Joachim Seppelt, (a journalist with the German TV station ARD) who had heard rumours that Alberto had returned a positive result and gave a complete denial that Contador was being investigated.

The world found out  about the positive result yesterday in a message issued by Contador’s personal press officer.  The UCI, who yesterday denied any investigation was underway, several hours after Contador’s agent broke the story, announced that Contador had violated the code, but were investigating further- no ban.

 9 weeks had passed since the test was taken and over 5 weeks since Contador had been informed.

5 weeks was enough time for Contador to prepare a defence and said he had been a victim of food contamination and presented a full defence by his hired expert Dr. Douwe de Boer.

Lets correspond that with the case of the last rider to test positive for the same drug, Radio Shack rider Fuyu Li. At the Dwaars Door Vlaanderen on the 23rd of March 2010 the sample was collected. And on Thursday, April 22, 2010 the UCI released a statement of his positive A sample. ONE day after Fuyu Li and his team were notified. Three days later, the Chinese Cycling Association (CCA) were informed.

Without a strictly enforced protocol for informing of a positive result, there will be cries of favouritism and speculation of cover-ups. Best practise must be put into place for the information relay.

BikePure propose a definitive method of notification is established to protect the innocent riders and give all athletes the same conditions during the difficult time:

It could be as simple as:
DAY 1, The lab notifies the UCI/national drug body
DAY 2 The rider, team and national cycling body informed, in that order.
DAY 3  The UCI issue a statement.

Regardless, of the time lines chosen or how the proposed protocol could evolve, it is not good when the cycling fraternity is whispering of positive tests days before they are released.

Cycling’s image needs to be totally free from suspicion.
For reinforcement to our point examine today’s revelation that the Vuelta a España runner-up Ezequiel Mosquera and Xacobeo Galicia team-mate David Garcia both tested positive in the Spanish Grand Tour.

The news of Mosquera’s case was first reported this morning by Cadena Ser and Biciciclismo. UCI released a statement 9 hours later confirming the earlier reports. Still the Xacobeo Galicia team and their DS Alvaro Pino had yet to be informed and reports in Spain suggested that Mosquera himself had yet to be told about the news.

I will leave the last quote to Alberto himself given to Spanish radio on Thursday morning, as he is the one who seems to have all the information

“If it had been a clear case of doping it would have come out that week. The UCI informed me on August 24, I had a meeting with the UCI medical staff on August 26″

Bike Pure
M: +44 (0)7825 339011
E: myles@bike-pure.org
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Bike Pure is an independent, global organization for fans, riders and the cycle trade to join together in a united stance for a new era of positive cycling. We spearhead constructive, structured reform, to restore the integrity of cycle sport and create a nurturing environment for future champions to succeed. We are simply cyclists working for cycling.


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