Originally launched in 2013, the 2016 season saw USA Cycling revamp its testing of amateur athletes through its anti-doping, RaceClean initiative, announcing that it found five anti-doping violations out of 185 tests.
Membership fees for domestic racers did not increase, but a one-time $5 RaceClean anti-doping surcharge was added to category 1 mountain bike, category 2 and 3 cyclocross, road and track licenses as well as $25 for category 1 road, track and cyclocross racers.
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UCI pro road licenses also had a one-time fee of $50 to help fund the program.
The main objectives of the testing distribution was to attempt to proportionally spend money on the groups that paid the RaceClean one-time fees. USA Cycling hoped for the testing to accurately reflect the funding distribution by geography, gender, racing discipline and category.
In total, 185 amateur athletes were tested according to the year end report recently released at a cost of $134,700. In comparison, only 45 amateur tests were conducted in 2015, a 400 percent increase in 2016.
Women represented 21 percent and men 79 percent of the total pool tested. Within the male racers, 41 per cent of those tested were masters (35 years or older) athletes, while only 18 per cent were category 1 or 2 racers.
Category 1 and 2 racers are most likely to move into the professional ranks.
The majority of testing occurred at road cycling events, nearly 65 per cent, with no testing completed at mountain bike or track events and approximately 35 per cent at cyclocross races.
However, the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation ran tests at national calendar events like the Pro XCT mountain bike races, so athletes at these events didn’t go untested per say, but USA Cycling did not conduct the tests themselves.
Geographically speaking, racers from 34 states were tested at 20 different states across the country.
Only five anti-doping rules violations were announced from the 2016 program, with the possibility of additional sanctions being announced after due process occurs.
Final numbers from the 2016 positive tests are anticipated to be released in mid to late 2017.
Read the full year-end report here.