CADF have named their new director ©CADF

The Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) has named Olivier Banuls as its new director, amid ongoing uncertainty over the body's future.

Banuls has served as CADF deputy director since 2015 and will now be promoted to replace Francesca Rossi, who will join the French Anti-Doping Agency at the start of 2020.

He joined the International Cycling Union in 2007 as part of the anti-doping services team, before rising to the director general role when the CADF became independent from the governing body.

"We are delighted that Olivier has agreed to take on the role of Director at CADF," Rune Andersen, President of the CADF Foundation Board, said.

"He is well-respected in the field and has an unmatched knowledge of the anti-doping landscape in cycling. 

"His appointment will result in a seamless transition from Francesca Rossi, who will remain with the CADF as a special advisor until the end of the year."

The CADF carries out anti-doping programmes within cycling on behalf of the UCI, with the organisation stating the funding from the cycling community guarantees resources are used appropriately.

Banuls' appointment comes at a time when the UCI is exploring closer collaboration with the International Testing Agency (ITA) as part of a "global approach" towards anti-doping.

The ITA was established in 2018 and has since taken charge of anti-doping programmes for more than 40 organisations.

This includes several International Federations and organisers of major events.

Former UCI President Brian Cookson said the governing body had been asked to help with the establishment of the ITA back in 2017, using their experience of the CADF.

The UCI, now led by David Lappartient, has stressed the governing body would still seek to maintain the expertise of CADF should it ultimately partner with the ITA.

Lappartient said a final decision will be taken in February.

David Lappartient announced last month the UCI were considering collaborating with the ITA ©Getty Images
David Lappartient announced last month the UCI were considering collaborating with the ITA ©Getty Images

The CADF responded to the UCI announcement last month by claiming their work faced an "unprecedented challenge".

The foundation claimed its work had significantly helped to improve the credibility of the sport since it was created in 2008, boosted significantly by its independence in 2013.

It claimed the UCI statement came as a surprise, with the decision initiated "without a comprehensive consultation period with the cycling community", before warning any final decision needed to be "based on facts and reason, and not rushed".

"It has taken a significant period of time, investment and expertise to establish the credibility that CADF enjoys globally, operating to the highest levels of integrity," CADF said.

"The work of the CADF is carried out on behalf of the cycling community and is funded by the community, guaranteeing that resources are being used appropriately for the sport of cycling, while maintaining continuous dialogue with all stakeholders, teams, athletes and organisers.

"With a different governance model for anti-doping, the same assurances on fund control and allocation for cycling cannot necessarily be given.

"Such a change would reverse the trend being applied by other sport federations such as International Tennis Federation, World Athletics and International Biathlon Union, to name a few, who have recognised the importance of having dedicated independent bodies in place to protect the integrity of their respective sports for the management of issues including doping, match fixing, etc.

"They are following the CADF model already established for this purpose."

Banuls claimed after his appointment that he would lead new projects by the CADF during 2020.

"We are recognised as one of the most credible, efficient and effective anti-doping organisations in the world, and as director I will work to ensure the CADF remains at the forefront of anti-doping efforts in cycling," Banuls said.

"We have a number of exciting new projects starting in 2020 and the entire CADF staff is looking forward to implementing them for the benefit of our sport."

The foundation added they would seek to maintain the high level of quality of its current programme and keep expanding intelligence and investigations activities.

This will involve increasing in-depth knowledge of cycling and reinforcing the testing programmes at the UCI ProSeries and UCI Women's WorldTour levels, along with a focus on the pre-Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 testing programme.