The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has joined with the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF), and the cycling's world governing body to conduct testing during the Tour of California.
This is the first occasion when the three organizations have joined hands to conduct in- and out-of-competition testing for athletes who are competing in an event. The UCI, USADA, and CADF will share in the planning and sample collection and laboratory analysis.
USADA will screen athletes for synthetic testosterone, CERA, and human growth hormone along with EPO, a banned blood booster that is nowadays common in cycling.
In a statement, USADA chief executive Travis Tygart said global collaboration is a vital part of the work we all do in the anti-doping movement. Tygart added the UCI and the CADF's willingness to work in partnership with national anti-doping organizations is a strong demonstration of the current UCI leadership's commitment to moving the sport forward from the past. Tygart also remarked we look forward to continuing to work with them in the future for the benefit of all clean athletes.
CADF director Francesca Rossi remarked he is very pleased with the partnership between the CADF, USADA, and the UCI for the Tour of California. Rossi further remarked that it allows us to pool various resources including manpower for in- and out-of-competition testing but also, importantly, to share intelligence data for the benefit of the overall testing program. Rossi also remarked working closely with national anti-doping organizations is key part of the CADF’s long-term strategy for planning and implementing anti-doping testing programs in cycling.
UCI President said this agreement with USADA for the 2015 Amgen Tour of California is a new important step forward after previous collaborations set with NADOs from Switzerland, France, and the UK among others.
UCI president Brian Cookson took over the UCI in September 2013 and has taken many initiatives to clean up the sport that has long been tainted by allegations of doping. Cookson introduced plans for tougher testing, greater collaboration among anti-doping organizations, and more research. The UCI Chief is also credited with formation of the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) for investigating shady past of the sport. In March, the CIRC released the 227-page report that detailed a history of poor leadership, doping, cover-ups, infighting, and worse governance. The report was appreciated by many in the anti-doping circles.
On Saturday, Cookson remarked the UCI is strongly committed to develop and strengthen our ties with all anti-doping organizations. He added we truly believe that an effective fight for a clean sport can only be achieved through joining forces.
The first stage of Tour of California was won by Britain's Mark Cavendish who powered past Slovakia's Peter Sagan just before the finish line. Cavendish, a 25-time Tour de France stage winner, finished the 126.2-mile flat road race in 4 hours, 43 minutes, 27 seconds.
In another development, Germany's Trixi Worrack won the Tour of California women's title on Sunday and Canada's Leah Kirchmann took her second straight stage in the three-leg event. Worrack claimed the overall title by six seconds over Kirchmann after she gained 13 mid-race sprint bonus seconds in intermediate sprints.