cycling black list



PARIS (Reuters) - Cycling's governing body sent a letter to every professional team this week
warning them new drugs tests could soon be available and that it had compiled a "black list" of
doping suspects. UCI chief doctor Mario Zorzoli told Reuters it was "reasonable" to believe that
tests would be available before the Athens Olympics for products such as human growth hormone,
synthetic hemoglobin or practices like blood transfusion.

Zorzoli said research at IOC (news - web sites) laboratories in Lausanne and Paris led to optimism
about these tests. His comments were a clear warning to riders in the Tour de France, which takes
place in July, just a month before the start of the Olympics.

UCI boosted its anti-doping policy after the 1998 Tour de France scandal. However, recent doping-
related arrests in the French team Cofidis and soul-searching caused by the death of Marco Pantani
prompted the UCI to launch a new initiative.

Zorzoli said the UCI would intensify random out-of-competition testing on suspect riders. The UCI
will also use the medical records of riders gathered since 1999 and could ban riders with abnormal
results from competing.


"We realized that some riders would vanish in the middle of the season, especially before taking
part in a big event.

"We have doubts about some of them. You could say that they will be placed on a black list of riders
closely watched by our (anti-doping) services.

"The same will apply to riders with oddities in their medical records," he said.

Zorzoli said that UCI was determined to track evasive riders and know of their whereabouts
when training.

"Riders will be asked to let us know their place of residence, their schedule and if some live in
hotels and move about, we want to know," he said.

Most team chiefs welcomed the new plan, saying it was time for the sport to clean up its act.

"It's going in the right direction. It was ridiculous that riders who had been not been racing
should return stronger than others who had kept racing," said team chief Marc Madiot.

Zorzoli said he was confident the fight against doping was making progress.

"There's more talk about doping than about what is being achieved against it, especially with the
help of the chemical industry.

"Thanks to chemists and pharmacists, we have been able to detect some products like RSR13, Nesp or
Aranesp even before they were on the market," he said.

Similar threads