New Manager Spearheads Anti-doping with Zeal
The new anti-doping manager of the International Cycling Union, Francesca Rossi sees more cases of doping under the biological passport program. However, she believes that the system is progressing and is looking forward to a rapid resolution of cases in the future.
Rossi informed the Associated Press, “We will have new cases but I can’t say to you the timing. We are continuously testing (riders) and involving our experts. When, statistically, the case is solid we can proceed.”
Rossi took over the place vacated by Anne Gripper as head of the UCI’s anti-doping section last February. Cases are soon to be opened this week as UCI has filed charges against Franco Pellizotti, Tadej Valjavec and Jesus Rosendo Prado. “It’s the beginning of the story,” Rossi explained. “I am sure that in time the procedure is improving and we are going to be faster when we have a case.”
Rossi, at her previous job with the World Anti-Doping Agency lab in Rome, was instrumental to the development of steroid profiling prior to her designation in the UCI. She is positive that this will be introduced in cycling. She declared, “As usual, we will be the first to implement,” specifically in cycling which has spearheaded the fight against doping.
The method of “microdosing” is the area in which the UCI aims to eliminate where athletes take smaller dosage of the banned drugs but in a regular basis, as in the case of EPO. When taken in smaller dosage, it dissolves quickly from the body and hard to determine. Thomas Frei of BMC was tested positive with EPO, admitted the use of microdosing. “You have to target the rider (for testing) as close as possible to the microdose. Everything is really like a chess play. You have to make provision for what is the next move you have to do,” Rossi stated.