UCI SET TO INCREASE ANTI-DOPING TESTS

The UCI have revealed plans of a new anti-doping plan for 2007 that will include more out of competition testing for riders.

According to a report in the Italian Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper on Tuesday, the plan will cost two million Euro and mean that the number of out of competition tests will increase significantly, with every rider facing between one and four tests during the season, and with other tests before ProTour races. After race tests will continue but out of competition tests are considered more effective becuse they can catch riders taking drugs as they train and prepare for major races.

UCI President Pat McQuaid (pictured) presented the new testing regime to riders? representatives at a special meeting in Brussels on Monday. Lead by Britain?s Roger Hammond, Michael Rogers, Dario Cioni, Cedric Vasseur and Philippe Gilbert, the riders were reported to be supportive of the new tests.

In recent weeks UCI medical officer Dr Mario Zorzoli has been explaining the UCI?s plans while visiting several teams at their training camps. Zorzoli has given details of the anti-doping tests and procedures planned for 2007, including more details of how riders will be accompanied between the end of a race and an anti-doping control to prevent them from taking any kind of masking agent after a race.

According to one team doctor, the UCI will increase their search for growth hormones in 2007 and are also working on introducing blood volume tests that can detect artificial changes to haematocrit values caused by EPO use or blood doping. The T-Mobile team already uses the test to monitor its riders, while other teams such as CSC have introduced similar independent screening programmes.

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