A series of new anti-doping measures have been announced today by the International Cycling Union (UCI) in response to the Cycling Independent Reform Commissions (CIRC) report and recommendations, published earlier in the week.
The 227-page report, published on Monday (March 9), was critical of the previous UCI leadership and outlined what it considers to be key challenges facing anti-doping efforts in the sport, including the abuse of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE), the use of new designer drugs and the micro-dosing of banned substances to avoid detection by anti-doping authorities.
In line with the recommendations of the report, the UCI have announced they intend to strengthen the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation's (CADF) move towards a more targeted approach to testing which befits the riders discipline risk assessment, encouraging them to make use of night-time testing when they believe it necessary.
Furthermore, TUE's will now have to be unanimously approved by three members of the TUE Committee, which the UCI state goes beyond the international standard.
The UCI's whistleblower programme will also be re-launched, through an independent agency, reflecting the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code, which came into effect on January 1, placing responsibility on riders and teams to report potential violations of anti-doping rules.
"I am absolutely determined to use the CIRC's report to ensure that cycling continues the process of fully regaining the trust of fans, broadcasters and all the riders who compete clean," said UCI President Brian Cookson.
"We value to recommendations of the CIRC and have now established an internal task force to ensure the recommendations are properly followed up."
The new measures introduced today also see a fit-and-proper-persons requirement included in the team licensing process, focusing on the key members of staff within a team, such as sports directors and doctors.
It comes less than a month after the UCI requested that their licensing commission withdraws the World Tour licence of the Astana team, which last year's Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali is a member, following an independent audit into the anti-doping culture, policies, structures and management systems of the Kazakh-based team.
After the CIRC report was released David Howman, director general of WADA, promised they would look into the report in greater detail and the UCI have said that they will work together with the organisation to analyse new substances, regarding adding them to the prohibited list and also attempt to improve the speed of athlete biological passport cases.
The UCI have also claimed they will work with the world's leading laboratories to build a clear picture of how successful anti-doping measures in cycling are, whilst they will actively pursue agreements with National Anti-Doping Agencies and criminal authorities to ensure information is shared effectively.
"These significant measures, together with the developments I have announced today, show the absolute commitment I and my UCI colleagues have to ensure riders win clean and that the minority who choose to cheat are caught and face severe sanctions after fair and fast disciplinary proceedings in full respect of due process," Cookson said.
"They also demonstrate that the UCI is now a very different organisation compared to even a few years ago and that we make sure lessons are learnt and mistakes not repeated.
"As I predicted, the CIRC report made for uncomfortable reading but it is imperative that we do not shy away from tough decisions."
Cookson also revealed the UCI had established strict governance, ensuring the neither the President or UCI administration could interfere in anti-doping measures and said that he was looking towards implementing a more representative electoral system for the governing body.
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