I wanted to start a second, separate thread for a related discussion on the Bio-Passport conundrum. The going theory is that one of the biggest impediments to enforcement based on the bio-passports comes from the UCI's questionable ability/desire to bring cases successfully through whatever legal system would apply. It's hard to know all the facts, given how the process is being played out behind the scenes for once, and maybe we will all be pleasantly surprised someday. Til then, it's easier to imagine them fiddling again while the flames of Rome rise.
What, then, can be done instead? I have long advocated for a system similar to the big US team sports, where a single, uber-organization runs the show with an iron fist. Back in Planet Reality, however, such a system isn't really feasible unless you were to thoroughly destroy the UCI, the AIGCP, the Grand Tours, the national federations, and so on. I shudder to think what this would entail -- images of the bad-guy molten silver machine in Terminator 2 come to mind -- so let's just write that off for now.
In contemplating who among the existing power brokers could dispense justice, one entity (or collection thereof) stands out: the races. While the UCI, federations, teams, etc., could make a case that a rider has cheated and should be excluded to protect the sport, they stand only as prosecuting entities, and self-appointed ones as that. The teams are a little different -- they can use contract clauses -- but are too conflicted to be counted on in most cases. The national federations range from diligent (France) to practically cheering on the dopers (Kazakhstan), and don't necessarily have the manpower to take on enforcement.
The races are different for one simple reason: they are the only entity with a property interest at stake. I dunno about the applicable law -- and would love to hear your opinions on that -- but in the US the clearest way to establish standing in court is to show that your property is affected by the action you're complaining about. Not the only way, but definitely the best. In a cycling doping case, that property interest becomes doubly important. The challenge would center around whether the testers had scientifically established guilt, which is open to serious challenge even in the easiest cases, and blood value changes detected by longitudinal testing would be far from the easiest cases. Any prosecuting entity faces a hard road toward establishing guilt.
But would the races have to do that? The races are largely private entities, and in US law private citizens can limit who enters their property to invitation-only. Have the races established this right firmly, such that they could limit participation on an individual basis, for reasons of their choosing? Option 1 is where the races say that they have an absolute right to decide, for any reason or none at all. Dunno how that would fare, but Option 2 is where the races organize, delineate some standards, and then reserve the right to exclude any individual suspected of doping because of the results of the longitudinal tests. Typically the results would be ambiguous, but unlike the UCI, here the race can say that they need to protect their property interest, even if it means being over-exclusive. They don't need to prove guilt; they just need to articulate a rationale that has some merit.
In the past I have sided with power resting with the UCI, but the more I think about it, the more I root for power to rest with the races. Whatever it takes to stop the dopers in their tracks. Seems to me this could work, no?
P.s.: Apologies to anyone who thought of this 2-3 years ago and tried in vain to explain it to me/us.