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"Alarming" rise in doping cases in cycling last year

There were 32 cases recorded across the disciplines, with cycling jumping to fifth place among all sports

The Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC) has sounded an alarm over what it describes as an “alarming” rise in the number of doping cases in cycling, describing the increase as a “serious warning” for the sport.

The latest edition of the organisation’s Credibility Barometer, first published six years ago, monitors doping cases across a range of sports.

Cycling placed 13th last year, with the sport contrasting with others where the number of doping cases were growing.

“This year, we’re noting a clear break with the recent past,” said the MPCC, whose members include nine WorldTour teams, 17 Professional Continental teams, 10 Continental team and six Women’s teams.

It revealed that cycling had jumped top fifth place in terms of the number of doping cases recorded.

“This sudden increase was equally observed in men’s and women’s cycling, whether it was track cycling or road cycling (all things considered).

“While cycling had kept plummeting in the list of sports most affected by doping, it rose again from 13th to 5th in the span of just one year.”

One of the main contributors to the rise in doping cases in cycling was Operation Aderlass, the Austrian anti-doping investigation that has to date uncovered seven instances of doping involving past or present riders.

“It is not out of the question that further names are revealed soon in addition to the seven known cases in our sport (six men and one woman),” the MPCC said.

“This police operation — carried out in close conjunction with the investigators from WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) — alone does not explain the skyrocketing in the number of infractions.

“Furthermore, it served as a reminder that doping can spiral into all teams, including those committed to MPCC.

“Two hypotheses are being used as explanation for those many doping cases in 2019,” it continued: “first, a renewed interest in doping; second, better targeted doping tests.”

Track and field was the sport with the most doping cases (84), a quarter of those originating from Russia, which had 65 cases across all sports.

Weightlifting, baseball and American football all also returned more doping cases than cycling, which had 32 cases – 24 of those on the road, four in mountain biking, three on the track and one in BMX.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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