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UCI Prepares to Prosecute First Biological Passport Cases

In a story published in The Guardian today, the UCI announced that it is preparing to prosecute its first cases under the biological passport system.

"With the first case we need to be absolutely sure," the UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani told the Guardian. "We need to be sure we can defend ourselves in a court, so it has to be safe, reliable. So the [anti-doping] experts are working on it, but also the legal department. But before the Giro I expect the first [doping] cases to be confirmed."

The "biological passports," which involve long-term profiling of riders' blood for abnormal fluctuations that might indicate doping practices, were instituted in January, 2008. At a press conference during this year's Tour of California, Patrick McQuaid of the UCI said that they were moving closer to prosecution but refused to give the number of  cases involved, saying only that it "may be one or three or six riders."

The Giro begins May 9, so expect the first case or cases to be announced within the next three weeks.

UPDATE: Carpani says he was misunderstood. Thanks to Monty for finding and translating this from tuttobici:

“I don’t want to start passing the buck, but there must have been some misunderstanding with the journalist from the Guardian, especially on the usage of certain terms. I never spoke – and let me emphasize that – of definite positive cases. I simply said to the interviewer that there will probably be before the Grand Tours some communique from the UCI regarding the progress of the biological passport. But the contents of this communique could also be, and we all wish it would be thus ‘All fine, nothing to report, let’s carry on like this."