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By Andrew Hood
The UCI has unveiled a new educational program that will complement its ever-increasing anti-doping arsenal.
UCI president Pat McQuaid said more than 14,000 doping controls were conducted across all disciplines in 2009 and said the fight against doping must include prevention as well as detection and enforcement.
Dubbed “True Champion or Cheat,” an interactive video course will be required viewing for nearly 1,000 registered professionals and is aimed at prevention and awareness among pros and amateurs alike.
“This will allow riders to understand their responsibilities, so there can be no excuses that they didn’t know the rules,” said UCI’s anti-doping chief Anne Gripper. “This will give them all the information they need.”
According to Gripper, the video features eight storylines with actors playing out different scenarios. The viewer must select from a variety of options, with the consequences of their decisions also played out.
Riders will be required to view the video and register their participation.
Officials worked on the program for more than one year and it will be unveiled on the UCI web site this week. DVD format is also available.
The educational arm of the UCI’s anti-doping efforts will complement its increased anti-doping controls as well as the biological passport.
Concerning the 2009 Tour de France, Gripper said the sport’s most important race was a success on the anti-doping front. No positive doping cases were found in the 2009 edition. Tour stage winner Mikel Astarloza tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition control taken before the start of the race.
“If anyone was doing anything, we would have found it this year,” she said.