The Union Cycliste Internationale issued a statement on Monday evening saying that the French Anti-Doping Agency’s recent accusations concerning its conduct during the Tour de France are ‘groundless’

Earlier on Monday, the AFLD had issued a report simultanesously to the media and the UCI, and other parties, claiming that the UCI’s doping inspectors had not followed correct procedures whilst undertaking anti-doping controls during the 2009 Tour de France.

Among the accusations levelled by AFLD was that the UCI favoured the Astana team, giving them greater notice of dope controls than other teams and that samples taken for testing were stored incorrectly ‘in the back of a car’.

In the statement issued by the UCI in response to these allegations, Pierre Bordry, the head of AFLD is accused of pursuing media attention, being unprofessional and sabotaging the UCI’s anti-doping efforts.

“This morning the UCI received a report drawn up by the AFLD (French Anti-Doping Agency) on the procedures of the testing carried out during the 2009 Tour de France. The report was simultaneously released to the media; this was probably not by coincidence,” says the UCI statement.

“Firstly, the UCI considers the manner in which Mr Pierre Bordry [head of AFLD] and his colleagues have proceeded to be completely unacceptable.”

“While the UCI and AFLD together agreed a programme of testing for the 2009 Tour de France, the AFLD has drawn up and published a unilateral report, without giving the UCI the opportunity to study it and correct any erroneous comments that it may contain. This is certainly not what one would expect from a professional, reliable partnership working together in the battle against doping.”

Unsurprisingly, the statement also strongly hints at a split between the UCI and AFLD in any other anti-doping controls at cycling events in France. 

“The UCI considers it very disappointing that the good operational partnership put in place for the 2009 Tour de France has been undermined by Mr Bordry’s pursuit of media attention, which seems also to have had the objective of sabotaging the efforts of the UCI and its partners in recent years with regard to the fight against doping. This has led the UCI to wonder about Mr Bordry’s actual intentions.”

“Consequently, the UCI will now study the options for collaborating with a neutral partner for anti-doping controls on French soil. Such an option has already been implemented by other International Federations.”

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Tour de France doping inspector responds to AFLD criticism

  • G. Kores

    Come-on men! It’s a public secret that the AFLD is very nationalistic agency. Always their accusations are directed to foreign (=not French) cyclists and organisations. However, their accusations are never based on solid proof, but always insinuations.
    The comments by the UCI are fully justified. Why is the AFLD behaving this unprofessional way? What is driving them? The answer can be found in their remark that the UCI is now looking for a NEUTRAL partner on French soil.

  • Tom Trenton

    I feel the AFLD are making valid points. With reference to the preferential treatment of Astana with regards testing, something doesn’t sit right with me. It’s clear that certain riders at the top of the sport are in the back pockets of the UCI. Also, after seeing Armstrong greet Pat McQuaid with a bear hug at this years Tour of Ireland it kinda left me with more questions than answers.

  • C. Crumpet

    The political infighting, and make no mistake that’s exactly what it is, is destroying the sport from the inside.
    This wash, rinse, repeat cycle has gotten old.

  • Matthew

    Mmm! who should I believe Pierre Bordry or the same old spin from the UCI?
    Such a difficult one.

    When someone starts telling me I should questions someone else’s intentions, without giving good reason, I wonder whose intentions I should be questioning.

  • Ar*estrong

    Coincidental that there were no positives in this years tour and the UCI were in charge of the testing regime? To me that seems hard to believe.

    As for Anne Gripper saying that problems were remedied during the race – well they’re a proffessional outfit and there shouldn’t be problems. It’s the blue riband event of cycling and for France so procedures should be perfect.

    Will the ASO tell the UCI to clear off again? Will the AFLD be taking control once again? A bit of ASO/UCI baiting would certainly liven up the off season

  • John Calliott

    It’s escalating. Bordry has repeated that he thinks riders used blood transfusions this year, as well as hematide and Aicar. If they come up with positive CERA re-tests from the 2008 Tour, it will make the UCI’s biological passport system look really bad (again). I hope they come up with tests for the new drugs and especially for autologous transfusions soon. I try to enjoy the sport, but it’s tough when I can’t believe what I’m seeing on-screen. I enjoyed the 2008 Giro d’Italia, but must I be naive and believe that Ricco, Sella and others were clean at the time?