Teams warn of ‘mafia’ doping rings, want more blood tests

Members of the MPCC are pressing the UCI to expand out-of-competition controls to rein in would-be cheats.

Paris, Dec 4, 2019 (AFP) – Cycling teams have demanded an increase in out of competition blood tests, insisting Wednesday that they fear the “existence of mafia doping protocols outside of the teams’ structures.”

The Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC) said they have based their demands on testimony made by Austria’s Georg Preidler, who was ensnared in “Operation Aderlass.” The ‘Aderlass’ scandal initially erupted in February when authorities raided the Nordic skiing world championships in Austria.

Now, the MPCC says it is taking its concerns to the UCI, the sport’s international governing body.

“MPCC wanted to draw the UCI’s attention to the necessity to increase the number of blood tests, especially outside of competition,” the group said in a statement.

“This proposition relies on the information we gathered, which hints on the existence of mafia doping protocols outside of the teams’ structures. A formal request has been issued, aiming at running these tests closer to the start of the race and as soon as possible after the finish,” it added.

Preidler is a former rider for Groupama-FDJ and Sunweb, both members of the MPCC. He quit after getting caught up in Aderlass – the doping sting operation which takes its name from the German word for ‘bloodletting’.

The MPCC said they retained full confidence in the UCI but highlighted that no riders implicated in Aderlass had ever tested positive. They were instead caught as part of a judicial operation.

“These unfortunate revelations came from the police’s hard work only,” said a statement.