Friday, 13 May 2011

The UCI list - just a list

Today the French newspaper L’Equipe present an article that says the UCI had a list over riders who had unusual high values before the tour in 2010.

The reporter behind the story is the famous Damien Ressiot, the French journo who had the famous headlines back in 2005 stating: Le mesonge Armstrong – Armstrong’s lie. According to journalist Anders K. Christiansen, Ressiot proved some good investigation skills back then, even getting Lance Armstrong’s approval for getting Armstrong’s permission to see his number code used by the UCI in dpoing tests, by saying he wanted to help Armstrong get rid of rumours.

What does the list mean
Some have raised questions regarding the fact that the UCI has a list, others don’t mind. My personal opinion is that the list need to be shared with WADA, unless no point in havig one. The L’Equipe article says AMA (WADA-AMA) agents have had access to the list. Upon giving riders a number between 0-10, where 10 is the highest, based on their biological passport and the values they tested just before the start of the tour.
The good and at the same time sad news is that the list doesn’t necessarily mean much. All those involved with sport, at least endurance sport, knows that the variations within blood level is high among the athletes. The list is merely an overview over different riders’ bio passport on the 1st of July 2010. 

Some have criticized the biological passport and says that there are circumstances where the hemoglobin level is high, both naturally and because of an illness.
The questions I’m left with are many, and the UCI have some explaining to do. Some of my questions are:

  • Is there such a list today? Rumours in the cycling world have indicated this and the work of Ressiot further adds fuel to that fire.
  • Who is responsible for the evaluation and analysis?
  • Is it WADA-AMA or the UCI who has the responsibility for putting that list together?
  • Who decides which rider to be tested?
  • Do the UCI cooperate with the different nations’ drug agencies to test riders with suspicious values in hemoglobin and hematocrit?

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