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UCI doping controls management in final stages of transfer to International Testing Agency

The COVID-19 pandemic has not altered the timeline for the UCI's anti-doping program management transition on January 1, 2021

The UCI hosted a video conference on November 11, 2020 which included the Association International des Groupes Cyclistes Professionels (AIGCP), Association Internationale des Organisateurs de Courses Cyclistes (AIOCC), and Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (CPA), to provide updates surrounding the transfer of cycling’s anti-doping program operations to the Lausanne, Switzerland-based International Testing Agency (ITA).

This was the sixth such meeting since it was announced in October of 2019 that the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) would be subsumed into the ITA. During the most recent meeting, it was noted that the pandemic did not alter the transition timeline and that operations would be ready by the January 1, 2021 target date to ensure the continuity of cycling’s official anti-doping program.

According to a statement issued on Monday by the UCI, the AIGCP, the AIOCC, and the CPA have not changed their respective financial commitments to the program, which was set prior to the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. The statement also indicated that 11 of 13 CADF staff members with specific domain expertise would be moving to the ITA, providing program continuity and no disruption to the transfer timeline.

All stakeholders “declared themselves satisfied with the progress of the transfer of the anti-doping activities and convinced that the fight for a clean sport in cycling will rapidly benefit from the advantages of the transfer to the ITA.”

While the UCI has claimed it is on track to hand over doping controls and anti-doping program management to the ITA, the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC) has recently raised concerns about the pandemic creating gaps in doping control programs.

A total of 12 anti-doping violations were recorded in the cycling world in 2020. Despite being a lower total than the numbers recorded in 2019, the result “is a great source of worry” for the MPCC given the lower number of tests conducted this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.