Bradley Wiggins, David Millar and Yaroslav Popovych are just three of the riders listed by the UCI in its doping index. It reportedly calculated the list from last year’s Tour de France and saw it leaked today by French newspaper L’Equipe.
Ukrainian Popovych and Spaniard Carlos Barredo were listed 10 out of 10, or, the most suspicious riders.
“Am I doped? Always, I am doped with the love of cycling,” Popovych told Cycling Weekly. “No, I am not doped. What I’ve already gone through in the last eight months, nothing bothers me anymore.”
Popovych rode for Lance Armstrong in last year’s Tour de France. In November, he testified in the federal doping case against Armstrong. When he returned from Italy, police searched his home. It was reportedly part of an investigation of Michele Ferrari and it reportedly turned up banned drugs.
He said the list is nothing new.
“I am not upset because there’s nothing to say. If they think I am suspect, that’s fine, I’m not worried,” he continued.
“The UCI are the heads of cycling, they can do what they want and we can’t do anything. Everyone sees, cyclists cannot do anything, they can’t protest, nothing.”
Popovych said his team RadioShack has already contacted the UCI. He said he may ask his lawyer to do something, but must first decide if it’s worth it.
Sky’s Wiggins received a five and Thomas a six.
“When they say G’s [Thomas – ed.] ranked six, if they are using the biological passport information, that implies that G’s under suspicion. From my side of things, knowing G, I’d say he’s certainly not under any suspicion from the team or me. i.e., he doesn’t take anything,” Sky’s sports director, Sean Yates told Cycling Weekly.
“It’s tarnishing the reputation of riders like G, teams like us and it brings into question the whole credibility of the UCI. Sometimes there’s stuff leaked, and it’s crap, but you can only go by what you hear. Hearing this kind of stuff is not good, it makes us look like amateurs.”
Yates said he’s unsure if team principal, David Brailsford has already been in contact with the UCI about the list.
“Having that stuff leaked to the press is not good. Once again, the UCI’s credibility – if this information is correct – is drawn into question.”
Brit David Millar of team Garmin-Cervélo received a four.
“What is this list based on?” Millar told Cycling Weekly. “Look at some of the guys there: I can tell you for starters, I’m clean as a f***ing whistle.
“I understand if I’m number four because of all my misdemeanours in the past, done on suspicions from my past actions. The only injections I’ve ever had are from the UCI, so it’s a bit mad that I’m a four.”
“This list clearly shows it’s a far from perfect model. What’s going on? That’s two things: the UCI, somebody, people, need to be fired for this, and a major investigation needs to be going on into what exactly they are doing regarding the biological passport, how they actually came up with this list.”