Following the launch of the 2008 Tour de France route, it’s clear to everybody involved in the sport that a clean start is necessary if pro cycling is to regain any sort of integrity after the damaging events earlier this year.
Biological passports, the latest initiative in the fight against doping, have been revealed by the UCI. The measure will begin at the start of 2008 and aims to collect blood and urine samples form all professional riders to create a medical profile for each rider, which subsequent doping tests can then be compared to.
“What in effect it means is that the rider becomes his own reference point,” Anne Gripper, UCI’s anti-doping chief says. “We look for variations in a rider’s individual profile to determine whether there may be some indication of using a prohibited method or a prohibited substance.”
The frequency of drug tests will rise in 2008, compared to 2007. In-competition tests will rise from 5,590 to 8,000, and out-of-competition tests up from 1,000 to 7,000.