At a press conference in Paris today, the International Cycling Union (UCI) presented the status of the Biological Passport five months after the beginning of a new collaboration with the Athlete Passport Management Unit (APMU) of the Lausanne Anti-doping Laboratory (LAD). The collaboration is in line with new World Anti-Doping Agency recommendations.
In opening the press conference, UCI President Pat McQuaid underlined that, four years after its launch, the Biological Passport remains the UCI’s most effective tool among all those it uses in its fight against doping. “Not only has the Biological Passport greatly improved our ability to target athletes who may cheat,” he declared “but – even more importantly – it has visibly transformed the behaviour of the riders: the teams are now adopting a sound scientific and physiological approach, which is a far cry from what we experienced in the EPO era.”
The UCI Medical Adviser Dr Mario Zorzoli pointed out that on top of the excellent results that it has already obtained, “the Biological Passport is still in its beginnings and is continually improving. In addition, its dissuasive effect has largely contributed to a noticeable modification of the physiological parameters that we have observed within the peloton.”
The Cycling Anti-doping Foundation (CADF) Director Dr Francesca Rossi added that “thanks to the Biological Passport the quality of the tests has improved considerably.” Concerning the number of samples collected in 2012, she confirmed that a total of 4006 samples have been taken for the biological passport (until the end of May), which is in line with the preceding years.
After outlining that the issue of micro-doses is being studied in depth, Dr Rossi also emphasized the importance of the collaboration with the Athlete Passport Management Unit, which now undertakes the management of the athletes’ profiles.
Dr Neal Robinson, Head of the APMU, underlined the excellent quality of the UCI’s work, and noted that this new organisation of the work reinforced the independence of the system.
For more information, watch the video of the press conference on the UCI website www.uci.ch