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UCI anti-doping director returns to Australia

The UCI has announced that the governing body’s anti-doping manager, Anne Gripper, will leave the post this month, citing a desire to return to her home in Australia.

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The UCI has announced that the governing body’s anti-doping manager, Anne Gripper, will leave the post this month, citing a desire to return to her home in Australia.

Gripper, who has headed up the UCI’s anti-doping efforts since October of 2006, will be replaced by Francesca Rossi, currently the administrative and scientific manager at the International Association of Athletics Federations.

Gripper is widely credited with overseeing the relatively successful implementation of the UCI’s biological passport program and putting a public face to the UCI’s “100% against doping” campaign.

“The work accomplished in the last few years, in particular with the biological passport, forms a basis which makes me very optimistic for the future of cycling and, more generally, of sport,” Gripper said in a release issued Wednesday. “Today, a change in the fundamental culture is taking place within the teams, which play a major role in this field vis-à-vis the riders.”

UCI president Pat McQuaid said Gripper had made significant contributions to the governing body’s anti-doping efforts since she took the job more than three years ago.

McQuaid paid tribute to “Anne Gripper’s exceptional commitment as well as her qualities, in particular her outstanding human qualities.”

“The high quality of Ms. Gripper’s work clearly contributed to the setting up of the biological passport, which we can consider as the most significant breakthrough in the anti-doping field in the last 20 years,” he said.

Gripper said she expects to continue to work with the UCI and WADA in anti-doping efforts, albeit while based in Australia. Rossi will take over as director of the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation on March 5.