By VeloNews Interactive, Copyright AFP2004
WADA president Dick Pound is once more taking UCI president Hein Verbruggen to task in the wake of the Cofidis doping controversy, France’s Le Monde newspaper reported on Tuesday.
World Anti-Doping Agency boss Pound of Canada has continually been focusing on cycling as a problem area and Verbruggen, the world’s top cycling official, is once more in his sights.
“Even the UCI president must admit there is a problem in cycling and that it has been going on for a 100 years,” Pound was quoted in Le Monde as saying. “To eliminate doping is a challenge generally but cycling is a sport where the challenge is particularly difficult to deal with. The public has not been fooled.
“They know Tour de France cyclists and others have been taking prohibited substances. It’s the same thing in the United States with American football.” Last September, Pound and Verbruggen clashed verbally after a report by three WADA observers on the 2003 Tour de France was leaked to the press before UCI officials were able to review the document. According to the report, the fight against doping in the event had strong, positive aspects but there were also serious flaws in testing procedures. The UCI said they had lost confidence in WADA and decided to ban their observers from subsequent races. Questioned on this controversy by Le Monde, Pound expressed no regrets about the contents of the report.
“We have studied the report and we have decided nothing has changed. We are very satisfied with the work of our observers,” Pond said.
The Cofidis scandal broke earlier this month and police are conducting several investigations. Rider Cedric Vasseur was taken into custody with teammate Phillipe Gaumont. Gaumont faces charges after he admitted using EPO, while Vasseur was questioned and released.