International Cycling Union to cooperate fully with French anti-doping body at Tour de France
The International Cycling Union has agreed to fully cooperate with the French anti-doping body at this year's Tour de France.
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The two bodies had been at loggerheads since March's Paris-Nice race but have now found common ground ahead of the sport's glamour event, which celebrates its centenary this year.
"The UCI [International Cycing Union] and the independent Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) have announced a continuation of their partnership with the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) to conduct anti-doping tests at the major races held in France in 2013," the UCI said in a statement.
"The CADF and AFLD will combine resources and expertise to organise and provide anti-doping tests, including for the Criterium du Dauphine in June and the Tour de France in July."
The agreement marks a victory for the AFLD which had been fighting for total collaboration from the UCI since tensions arose during Paris-Nice.
"Together, we will ensure that today's young riders in the peloton are not tarnished by issues that took place years in the past….Cycling has a bright future and those who will define that future can be found among the current generation of riders who have chosen to prove that you can compete and win clean," UCI president Pat McQuaid said.
The agreement means AFLD will have complete access to riders' biological passports and their locations, and have the freedom to conduct unannounced tests.
The French Sports Minister Valerie Fourneyron, said the agreement was great news for the Tour de France.
"This marks the first tangible progress in the fight against doping in cycling since the (Lance) Armstrong affair exploded," she said.
In January, after years of denials, disgraced US rider Armstrong finally admitted to having doped to win the Tour seven times.
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