An independent audit from the Institute of National Anti-Doping Organizations (iNADO) has recommended many "urgent" changes to the International Cycling Union (UCI) for strengthening its anti-doping program.
This audit was commissioned by UCI President Brian Cookson, who took the helm of the UCI from Irishman Pat McQuaid last September. The audit reviewed five aspects of the UCI’s anti-doping program: Test distribution planning, training and accreditation of doping control personnel, doping control procedures, results management, and data security, access to information and information flow controls.
The audit investigated the operations of the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) that is responsible for anti-doping operations for the UCI and Legal Anti-Doping Service (LADS) that is responsible for the management of test results. The audit team involved Anne Cappelen, Director of Systems and Results Management at Anti-Doping Norway and Marjorit Nurmi, quality manager at the Finnish Anti-Doping Agency.
The audit team made a series of recommendations on a wide range of areas, with nine of these areas considered "urgent". These included communication between the CADF and LADS relating to results management should be clarified and formalized, risk assessment should be regularized and documented as per the International Standard for Testing, the possibilities for advance-testing should be eliminated, auditing sample collection service providers should be planned and carried out to ensure proper and quality service, a Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee should be established, the UCI rules and technical documents should be reviewed to ensure the authority given to CADF in relation to doping control is respected and does not issue instruction to CADF, and the risk assessment for Data Protection in process for the LADS should also include CADF. The nine "urgent" areas also included the system of referring cases to National Federations for prosecution should be reviewed and that the UCI and CADF rules and procedures should be altered to align them with the revised World Anti-Doping Code.
Cookson, following the audit, remarked he would like to thank iNADO for conducting this important audit and for its recommendations to help enhance the effectiveness of the UCI Anti-Doping program. The UCI president added he was pleased that the audit found that the Biological Passport program is outstanding and that results management is excellent and added that the UCI will now make the necessary changes to policies, structures and procedures in order to further improve the program and ensure compliance with the 2015 WADA code.
Joseph de Pencier, chief executive of iNADO, said the iNADO audit of the UCI Anti-Doping Program identified important opportunities to improve anti-doping for international cycling. He added that our members look forward to the UCI and CADF putting in place the changes that are reflected in the audit's recommendations.
This iNADO audit is totally different and autonomous from the Cycling Independent Reform Commission [CIRC] that is investigating allegations of wrongdoing at the International Cycling Union.
In another development, Cookson acknowledged some of the limitations of the Cycling Independent Reform Commission and encouraged former riders and team staff with knowledge of doping in cycling to come forward.