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UCI announces anti-doping measures in response to CIRC

The UCI announces a suite of anti-doping measures in response to CIRC’s report into cycling’s doping and governance problems

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has announced a suite of anti-doping measures in response to CIRC’s report into cycling’s doping and governance problems. The CIRC report provided a laundry list of recommendations, most of which have been addressed by the UCI’s new measures.

“We value the recommendations of the CIRC and have now established an internal task force to ensure the recommendations are properly followed up,” UCI President Brian Cookson said in a statement.

The new anti-doping measures are mostly centered on increased and more effective collaboration with other stakeholders and anti-doping bodies, but also include a few practical fixes and changes.

The UCI has pledged to speed up biological passport cases, set new rules defining “fit and proper” staff, relaunch a whistleblower platform, increase storage and re-testing of samples, and increase night-time testing where “necessary and proportionate.”

The UCI has already made some changes recommended by the CIRC Report. The three-member Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) Committee has been reinstated, and TUEs must now be unanimously approved by this committee.

The UCI is also in the process of revising and updating the UCI Constitution, with a particular focus on improving the election process for the office of the president, “which clearly needs significant improvement and I strongly believe we should implement a more representative electoral system,” Cookson said in a statement.

The majority of the UCI statement, released Friday morning, consists of a list of the changes the UCI is making. It reads as a direct promise from the president:

“I can already confirm that we will:

• Work to enshrine a fit-and-proper-persons requirement in the team licensing process, focussed on the key roles in the staff, such as sports directors and doctors;
• Work with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and other experts to analyse new substances and trends, to assess what should be added to the prohibited or monitored lists;
• Work with WADA to improve the speed of athlete biological passport cases;
• Further build on the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF)’s move towards even higher quality 
and more targeted approach to anti-doping that reflects rider and discipline risk assessment;
• Work with the world’s leading laboratories to undertake a prevalence study to assess the current situation and compare it with data from previous years across disciplines and nations. This study will assist in targeting and also build a clear picture of how successful anti-doping measures in cycling have been;
• Ensure that the CADF work more closely with civil and criminal authorities and others such as customs through a newly recruited Intelligence Manager, in order to guarantee that information gathered in investigations is shared as effectively as possible;
• Actively pursue the conclusion of sharing agreements with National Anti-Doping Agencies (NADOs) to ensure that we collaborate as closely as possible with others involved in working for a clean sport;
• Re-launch our whistleblower programme, through an independent agency, in support of the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code which places a duty on riders and team staff to report any circumstances they become aware of that may constitute an anti-doping rule violation;
• Build on our existing collaboration through WADA with the pharmaceutical industry to monitor new developments and assist in identifying banned substances and methods;
• Work with WADA to support athlete education programmes and ensure that current and former riders play an active part in them;
• Work with the CADF to build a more robust and comprehensive storage and re-testing strategy;
• Encourage the CADF to order night-time testing where they believe it is necessary and 
proportionate.”