UCI steps up anti-doping enforcement in women’s peloton

Tests will be carried out at WorldTour events and during training camps

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

The UCI is stepping up its anti-doping efforts in the women’s peloton by carrying out testing at all Women’s WorldTour events and during training camps.

Cycling’s international governing body is also increasing the number of riders who must register their whereabouts for testing and upping the amount of money it takes from women’s teams to fund the tighter enforcement.

The UCI said the changes are being introduced as part of the increasing professionalisation of women’s racing and the announcement follows a number of high-profile doping cases like Sofie de Buyst and Denise Betsema.

President of the organisation, David Lappartient said: “Safeguarding cycling’s integrity and reputation has a cost but not a price.

“The significant increase in resources for supporting the UCI Women’s WorldTeams, the newly created premier division of women’s professional road cycling, is an important new phase in the UCI’s commitment to clean sport and the stance our Federation is taking in leading the fight against drug cheats.”

As part of the introduction of Women’s WorldTeams this season, the UCI has announced a number of new anti-doping measures that will apply to these top-tier teams.

First, WorldTeams will be stepping up their financial contribution to €10,000 (around £8,000) to the anti-doping effort, which will be matched by the same amount from the UCI.

This funding increase will in turn pay for an increase in the number of riders included in the UCI Registered Testing Pool (RTP), which tracks the location of riders to ensure they are available for random testing.

The number of women road riders included in the RTP will increase from 29 last year to 53 this year, on the basis of a minimum of three athletes per WorldTeam.

Currently all professional male road riders from WorldTour and ProTeams (formerly Pro Continental) are included in the RTP.

The number of riders from the women’s peloton registering their whereabouts will also increase up until 2022, when 74 riders must be included.

According to the UCI, it will also carry out tests throughout the 21 events in the Women’s WorldTour, will carry out blood tests for the Athlete Biological Passport, test at training camps and store samples long term.

>>> Denise Betsema says positive doping test caused by contaminated supplement 

The UCI uses an independent third party, the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation to develop and enforce its anti-doping policy.

This news comes amid a number of high-profile doping cases in women’s racing, including Sofie de Vuyst who has been suspended by her team after testing positive for steroids and who denies any wrongdoing, and cyclocross rider Denise Betsema who was banned for six month after testing positive, also for steroids.

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