UCI insists it will oversee testing at 2009 Tour de France
PARIS -- Cycling's world governing body and the French anti-doping agency are at odds over drug-testing for next year's Tour de France.
UCI chief Pat McQuaid insists his organization will oversee the program, but the French agency claims it will be in charge.
AFLD president Pierre Bordry oversaw the testing at this year's Tour because of a rift between the UCI and ASO, the Tour organizers. But McQuaid says, now that the feud has eased, the UCI will take charge of the testing again as it had in 2007 and previous Tours.
"We are the international body responsible for anti-doping in cycling worldwide, not just in France and we will do a job and do it correctly," McQuaid said Wednesday at the unveiling of the 2009 Tour route. "[Bordry] wants to do [the testing] himself and have the UCI as just a sanctioning body. That is not possible. That is unacceptable to the UCI."
Bordry held firm.
"I am part of a public authority in charge of the fight against doping. McQuaid says we are going back to the 2007 period, and I won't go back to 2007," Bordry told The Associated Press. "We had an active policy against doping in 2008, and I don't want to go back on that."
Nearly two months after the Tour, Bordry ordered the retesting of blood samples for an advanced form of blood booster known as CERA. Four riders were caught.
Bordry has been widely praised for the work carried out by his Chatenay-Malabry laboratory by Tour director Christian Prudhomme and McQuaid himself, but he did not attend Wednesday's Tour presentation.
"Maybe his ego is a bit dented. He did such a good job this year that he thinks he wants to continue," McQuaid said.
Bordry says he chose not to attend because McQuaid had spoken about the 2000 policies without consulting him.
"I did not come this morning for one principal reason," Bordry said. "McQuaid says that in the next Tour de France he will decide the policy for testing, and if the AFLD does anything it will just be taking samples and testing."
McQuaid wants to meet with Bordry to resolve any possible differences ahead of the 2009 Tour.
"I have a very good personal relationship with him. A couple of weeks ago he rang me when I was on my holidays to inform me about the [CERA] positives," McQuaid said. "I am sure we can work something out."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press