By Paul Osborne

Following his election as UCI President, Brian Cookson commissioned an audit to investigate the anti-doping practices at the world cycling body ©Getty ImagesMarch 6 - The International Cycling Union (UCI) is set to strengthen its anti-doping programme after an independent audit from the Institute of National Anti-Doping Organisations (iNADO).

The audit was commissioned by newly elected UCI President Brian Cookson, who took the helm of the world cycling body from Irishman Pat McQuaid last September.

It investigated the work of the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF), which takes care of anti-doping for the UCI, and the Legal Anti-Doping Service (LADS), which looks after the management of test results.

The audit team, which included Anne Cappelen, director of systems and results management at Anti-Doping Norway and Marjorit Nurmi, quality manager at the Finnish Anti-Doping Agency, made a series of recommendations on numerous areas in which it felt improvements or changes needed to be made, with nine of these areas considered "urgent".

These are:

· Communication between the CADF and LADS relating to results management should be clarified and formalised.

· Risk assessment should be regularised and documented as per the International Standard for Testing.

· The possibilities for advance-testing should be eliminated.

· Auditing sample collection service providers should be planned and carried out to ensure proper and quality service.

· A Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee should be established.

· The UCI rules and technical documents should be reviewed to ensure the authority given to CADF in relation to doping control is respected and does not issue instruction to CADF.

· The system of referring cases to National Federations for prosecution should be reviewed.

· The risk assessment for Data Protection in process for the LADS should also include CADF.

· UCI and CADF rules and procedures should be altered to align them with the revised World Anti-Doping Code.

The audit was commissioned by Brian Cookson upon his election as UCI President and will hope to clamp down on doping incidents following the Lance Armstrong scandal ©Getty ImagesThe audit was commissioned by Brian Cookson upon his election as UCI President and will hope to clamp down on doping incidents following the Lance Armstrong scandal
©Getty Images

Following the audit, Cookson said: "I would like to thank iNADO for conducting this important audit and for its recommendations to help enhance the effectiveness of the UCI Anti-Doping programme.

"I was pleased that the audit found that the Biological Passport programme is outstanding and that results management is excellent.

"The UCI will now make the necessary changes to policies, structures and procedures in order to further improve the programme and ensure compliance with the 2015 WADA code."

Joseph de Pencier, chief executive of iNADO, added: "The iNADO audit of the UCI Anti-Doping Programme identified important opportunities to improve anti-doping for international cycling.

"Our members look forward to the UCI and CADF putting in place the changes that are reflected in the audit's recommendations

The iNADO audit was carried out separately to that of the Cycling Independent Reform Commission [CIRC] which is investigating allegations of wrongdoing at the UCI.

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