The Columbia and Garmin teams have announced they will participate in a new independent anti-doping programme in 2009 designed by American anti-doping expert Don Catlin and his Anti-Doping Sciences Institute (ADSI).
Both teams worked with the Agency for Cycling Ethics (ACE) in 2008 but the agency went bankrupt due to the huge costs incurred of testing riders all over the world. ADSI replaces ACE, with further focus on testing for EPO and similar blood-boosting drugs.
As well as being tested by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), riders in the two teams will face regular further testing to reinforce the teams? fight against doping. When combined with testing under the UCI?s Biological Passport system, each team will provide over 600 samples during the 2009 season. The new data will be incorporated with data collected during 2007 and 2008 to further develop riders? blood profiles.
Team Columbia said in a press release: ?A combination of urine and blood testing will be used to expand and deepen the scope of testing for EPO, CERA and other related drugs; identify steroids and other drugs that may be in a sample; and continue to develop longitudinal profiles for blood markers and steroid levels.?
?Make no mistake about it. We take our anti-doping efforts very seriously,? team owner Bob Stapleton said in the statement.
?Our common goals are to reinforce team values, ensure proper conduct and respect personal commitment to the team. This essential trust between teammates and management is a vital part of the team?s success. We succeed as a team together.?
Jonathan Vaughters of Team Garmin said: ?When we began our anti-doping program in 2007, we wanted to help turn the tide in professional cycling. We wanted other professional athletes and teams to put their resources and efforts into the fight against doping. It worked. In 2009, we?re on a mission to continue what we started. With partners like ADSI and Don Catlin, we aim to continue to foster the ideals of fair sport.?
Catlin has announced he will also work with Lance Armstrong in 2009 but recently revealed that project has yet to be fully defined. However, he is fully committed to working with Team Columbia and Team Garmin.
?I have been involved in doping control for decades. When I developed the first anti-doping laboratory in the United States at UCLA in 1982, my hope was to prevent doping in sports and to work with teams and athletes who shared that hope. Team Columbia High Road and Garmin-Slipstream have proven that they do. I?m thrilled to be able to work with them,? Catlin said in statements issued by the teams.