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MPCC temporarily suspends Astana

Spencer Powlison /
Lars Boom (Astana) started the Tour de France despite having low levels of cortisol, in violation of MPCC rules. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

On Monday, the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC) announced that it has temporarily suspended the Astana team for allowing Lars Boom to start the Tour de France.

Boom was found to have low levels of cortisol in a pre-Tour medical check. Although his test result did not contravene UCI regulations, it was at odds with the MPCC’s code. As the MPCC is a voluntary organization with non-binding rules, Astana chose to start Boom on Saturday in Utrecht, despite being a member team of the MPCC.

In the written statement, MPCC said, “In virtue of this decision, team Astana will no longer be subject to the unscheduled cortisol levels controls conducted by MPCC from this day on.

“We shall remind that cortisol levels controls are part of the health protection of the rider, because a collapse cortisol level can have serious consequences for the high-level athlete. Since 2009, more than 1,400 cortisol levels controls have been conducted on the riders belonging to teams’ members of MPCC.”

Prior to the 2015 Giro d’Italia, LottoNL-Jumbo removed George Bennett from its roster to comply with MPCC rules. He too had low cortisol levels in a pre-race test. The team later elected to leave the voluntary organization.

Astana’s spokesperson did not immediately respond to comment on the matter when contacted by VeloNews.

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