Francesca Rossi, director of the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF), has called for cyclists to be educated about doping at a young age in order to prevent a philosophy of taking banned drugs at elite level to become ingrained.
"Being in anti-doping is perceived as police, it is something negative but in order to be efficient people have to be educated to understand what we're doing and also to avoid and to prevent the doping phenomenon, this could be interesting," Rossi told insidethegames at the Doha GOALS Forum.
"And we are working on the young people, this is something that has to be done for the future.
"We need to take care of them."
Rossi heads an independent body set up by the International Cycling Union (UCI) in 2008 in order to manage the activities and funding made available for anti-doping in cycling.
The body is totally independent from the UCI in that funds are given directly to CADF via federations, athletes and teams, in order for them to develop the technology and carry out the necessary doping checks on all those involved in elite sport.
Testing is also done independently from the UCI, meaning they do not know if a test has been carried out until the results are given to them following detailed analysis from CADF.
Talking to insidethegames here, Rossi emphasised the need to push education for the cycling youth at a national level "because of course when riders are arriving in our environment there are already 23/24-years old, so they are not a young rider."
She added: "So they should be educated in the beginning in their attitude to dedication, this is important.
"It has to be taught in the schools or in the National Federations, so all the sport world has to work in this sense, starting from the beginning.
"Because when they arrive on our level they should already be educated from some parts.
"We can continue the education and we can help them in creating a clean environment but in the end this is important to be done at all levels."
Rossi insisted that "doping is not inscribed in sport", but rather that "it is in inscribed in the individual".
"We need to focus on education," she added.
"Education can stop doping.
"Through education we can say no to doping."
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