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WADA Code Changes: Cycling's Rules Will Get Tougher

Antonio Gallegos is an attorney in Denver who covers cycling issues for VN, and today he has a piece out summarizing the changes to the WADA code and what they mean for Cycling. IIRC, WADA changes don't apply to the UCI (or other national athletic federations) until adopted, but apparently that's a formality. So here are the basic changes:

  • Testing can be done to establish baseline values for future tests
  • Testing can target suspected-but-uncaught dopers (think Anne Gripper's "black shirts")
  • Labs who find positive tests won't have to defend themselves from challenges that they didn't follow protocols, unless the athlete shows that the departure could have led to a false positive
  • More flexible penalty structures, including heavier penalties for the truly bad actors and lighter ones for people who confess.

Read the article for more details and illustrations. And stay tuned for the UCI's adoption of the changes as part of the Biological Passports initiative next month.