The International Cycling Union (UCI) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) yesterday signed an agreement on the attendance of independent observers at the 2010 Tour de France to be held between 3-25 July.
This agreement was reached in response to a request by the UCI last October for the presence of such observers with a view to ensuring the total transparency of the UCI’s activities in the fight against doping at the most important race on the calendar.
The terms of the agreement between UCI and WADA mean that independent observers will have the right to observe all phases of the anti-doping controls conducted by the UCI, from the selection of riders to be tested to the management of the results of the analyses conducted, with access to all related documentation.
At the end of their mission, the observers appointed by WADA will draw up a report on the UCI's anti-doping activities at the 2010 Tour de France. As with all reports from WADA independent observers, this report will be published.
“The presence of Independent Observers at major sporting events contributes to strengthen the protection provided to clean athletes and to enhance their confidence, as well as the public’s confidence, in the doping control and results management processes,” said WADA President John Fahey. “Independent Observers conduct their mission in a neutral and unbiased manner and subsequently publish a report with their observations. We thank UCI for inviting Independent Observers at the Tour de France.”
The UCI President Pat McQuaid warmly welcomed the signing of the agreement: "Without doubt the UCI is one of the most active and most effective International Federations in terms of the fight against doping, in particular with the introduction of the biological passport. I asked WADA to send independent observers to the 2010 Tour de France so that our activities can be submitted to their impartial examination. I would like to thank WADA for having accepted this request. I look forward to hearing their conclusions with every confidence as the UCI works very strictly within the standards drawn up by WADA."