Riders on Team Sunweb will be subject to additional anti-doping tests after the team's title sponsor invested in a new independent anti-doping programme for the 2018 season.
Announced at the team presentation in Germany, the new programme will be funded by Sunweb (the travel company which sponsors the cycling team) but carried out independently by Dopingautoriteit, the national anti-doping agency of The Netherlands.
Riders on the men's, women's and development teams will all be subject to additional blood and urine tests carried out to WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) and CADF (Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation) standards, with the results of the tests being available to both organisations, and the possibility of riders facing sanctions if they fail the tests.
"For a company investing in professional sports there are only two options in regards to anti-doping," said Tim Van den Bergh, Sunweb Group's chief commercial officer.
Watch: Top 10 riders of 2017
"One chooses to benefit from the beauty and great impact of the sport and abandons the team on the day there’s a doping case. The other chooses not to ignore that a sport is not better or worse than society. This means that alongside all of those with good intentions, there are always a few individuals that choose to do the wrong thing.
"A company that takes responsibility for the sport and for the team, means that they must put efforts into protecting those who choose to do the right thing by participating clean in sports. The best protection is to increase the efforts that go into detecting those who perform their sport with undesirable morals in terms of anti-doping."
The extra testing will be carried out in addition to the ones that riders already face both in and out of competition, with the results also being included in riders' biological passports.
Team Sunweb are not the first team to have subjected their riders to additional anti-doping tests, with T-Mobile and the then Team Slipstream (now EF Education First-Drapac) having begun internal testing programmes more than 10 years ago.
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
From the archive: 1950s Claud Butler gets ready to leave the Clapham factory
A young mechanic puts the finishing touches to this gleaming, handmade steel 'lightweight'
By Simon Smythe • Published
Tom Pidcock keeps everyone guessing on Dublin cyclocross World Cup appearance
Reigning world champion is reportedly set to bring his rainbow jersey to Ireland in December
By Tom Thewlis • Published
Humble, grounded but not satisfied: Scottish rider Sean Flynn's WorldTour ascension
DSM have signed a rider who they believe can develop into a potential winner of hilly Classics
By Chris Marshall-Bell • Published
Ex-mountain biker Sean Flynn completes 'dream' move to DSM
The Scotsman has signed a two-year contract with the WorldTour outfit
By Chris Marshall-Bell • Published
Introducing Oscar Onley, the 19-year-old who almost beat Jonas Vingegaard twice
The DSM rider from Scotland finished third overall at CRO Race, and second on two stages
By Adam Becket • Published