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"Biological Passports" Coming to Cycling in 2008

The ballyhooed World Doping Summit managed to produce a major new initiative for combatting cheating in Cycling for next year. As Prof. Wilcockson reports from Paris, the UCI, WADA and French authorities (presumably with some input from ASO) have outlined a new record requirement for all riders called the "biological passport."

What form these will take, how they'll be developed and used, who will ensure integrity, what sort of disciplinary measures will come with them... all issues to be figured out in the next year, with a task force getting started on the issue right away. But the VN piece says the passports themselves will be "a detailed electronic record of riders' various blood and urine tests, along with parameters collected in the past," and the passport notion connotes that each rider will have his checked as a precondition to entering a race.

This is a major development, but for now it raises more questions than it answers. My bet is that it won't really be in effect until 2009, but perhaps the motivation is great enough for the UCI and co. to pull this off before De Ronde. We'll see.