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Cycling president determined to lead fight against drug cheats

Cycling aiming to expand across globe

As he begins his second four-year term leading the sport, International Cycling Union president Pat McQuaid pledged to continue the fight against doping. The UCI's president also said that cycling was aiming to expand its presence across globe.

The Guardian reported that Mr McQauid told delegates at their annual congress at the road world championships in Switzerland: “It is an endless fight for the UCI, and one which I am determined that the UCI will continue - there is no place for cheats in our sport. We have had a good Tour de France, and at this stage I am not aware, for the first time in many years, that there are any positive controls."

He also said that riders who used performance enhancing drugs now faced a greater chance of getting caught . "We are no longer looking for a needle in a haystack, we do targeted testing. We test riders morning, noon and night. We chase after riders who we see have suspicious values. We test for more substances."

Mr McQuaid said 13,800 samples had been taken this year from 850 riders across all of cycling's disciplines. Around 7,500 were surprise, out-of-competition tests taken from riders in training, compared to 200 three years ago. The increased workload has produced 47 positive cases so far in 2009, while there were 36 cases three years ago.

McQuaid said the anti-doping fight was improving, and praised race organisers singling out France's ASO and teams for helping fund the passport program. "Teams now offer more support to the riders in an environment where there is less pressure to dope.”

Shimano released an anti-doping statement earlier this month setting out the actions it will take against teams in any cycling discipline whose riders fail dope tests. It said that if the team management is in any way involved in the doping process, that team will lose its sponsorship immediately and all contracts will be terminated and any Shimano equipment or material will have to be returned – immediately.

The UCI ProTour series of races had added events in California, Australia and Canada, while the sport had "enormous potential" in India and the Middle East said McQuaid. He also pointed to the success of introducing BMX medal races at the 2008 Beijing Olympics as "the best way to get young kids on bikes."

 

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