Strange coincidences in the world of anti-doping

First, last week there was a report from EU Athletes on the relative success of Wada’s anti-doping effort described in the press release thus:

“The report, ‘Adverse Analyzing’, raises serious questions about the foundation of evidence behind current anti doping rules.”

I’ve read through the Executive Summary briefly and looked at the Final Report but not in any great depth. Here’s the highlights:

  • It takes at least 600 out-of-competition drug tests to catch one drug cheat.
  • It takes 62 in-competition tests to catch one drug cheat
  • The average rate of violations per test for the whole of Europe (both in andout of competition) is 1%
  • There is a lack of standardised reporting and procedure across agencies

It seems to have gone slightly under the radar given some of the findings. Anything with a one percent hit rate leaves itself open to criticisms about its efficacy and cost.

There were no surprises when it came to which sports provide the most adverse findings: weightlifting, rugby (union and league) and of course cycling.

Then came l’Equipe’s exclusive on the UCI index of suspicion. The Inner Ring has covered most of the angles on what it all means.



For me, it’s like reading the form guide in the Racing Post. I haven’t a clue what to make of the numbers, but someone like Claire Balding can probably tell you which horse to back and why after a quick glance.  It would be nice if the UCI could find an expert to outline what the indices are based on but, given the nature of what that it might imply, I’m afraid that simply won’t happen.

Then there’s the UCI failing to reach agreement with USADA (the national agency) over who would test at the Tour of California. Why does that not surprise me? The UCI have previously managed to fall out with the French authorities (AFLD), are currently going to arbitration over a decision by the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) and have a musette full of other cases just lurking off the coast (Padova, Mantua, Armstrong, Graal) .

Yet they seem more concerned about suing a broke Floyd Landis in a Swiss court to defend the honour of Hein Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid.

And in the time it has taken me to get round to writing this,  Spanish authorities have apparently broken into a huge distribution network for dodgy viagra and doping products including Human Growth Hormone.

Somewhere between the time I wrote that last paragraph and reached for the publish button Pat McQuaid has got round to apologising for the leaking of the list in an open letter to riders and team.

All that in under a week? Something must be up.

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