The UCI has announced they are changing their anti-doping provider in the wake of Operation Aderlass, which saw a number of WorldTour riders and staff implicated in a doping ring that hit a number of sports and transcended national borders.
The Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) had provided anti-doping services for UCI races since 2008, when it was founded as a specific, independent body for cycling.
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However, the UCI will now partner with the International Testing Agency, a non-profit organisation founded by the International Olympic Committee in 2018 with the support of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
The ITA, which currently manages anti-doping programmes for more than 40 sporting organisations, will be required to create a “dedicated cycling unit” and also offer all CADF employees the chance to join them.
UCI President David Lappartient says the new partnership will allow his organisation to bolster their fight against doping and allow “important synergies” across areas such as research, intelligence and investigations that will also have cost-sharing benefits.
Operation Aderlass has been cited as a major motivation for the change in strategy as it showed doping is part of an environment that “knows no barriers, neither between sports, nor between countries, and where, in parallel with testing, information (intelligence) has become the central element of any efficient anti-doping programme.”
The UCI Management Committee has unanimously agreed to the decision, which they will now seek to ratify at their next meeting in June. This means CADF will continue to provide anti-doping services for the 2020 season with the switch expected to take effect from the beginning of 2021.
Speaking on the decision, Lappartient said: “The collaboration with the ITA will enable us to be stronger than ever in this sector and to thus bolster our defence of clean riders and the credibility of our competitions and all of our sport’s stakeholders.”