Midnight raids, whatever next?

WADA is recommending anti-doping controls in the middle of the night. A knock on the hotel room door and the rider will have to present themselves. The idea is that this will be a real surprise, that it’ll prevent a sneaky rider and his entourage from consuming products to thwart the test.

Right lads, Astana are on the second floor

You might think it’s about peeing in a pot and basta, back to bed. But no, there’s plenty of paperwork and a protocol over picking the sample pots, ensuring an adequate amount of urine in the A and B samples, sealing these containers and then the paperwork begins, you need to be alert. Even assuming the rider has a full bladder it’s a lengthy process. All told this means that an in-and-out midnight test is likely to awaken a rider for an hour at night. It goes without saying that rest and recovery is critical in a three week race.

I hear some saying that it’s all part of the job. A rider who don’t like the tough rules is free to apply for work in the local office, factory or farm. It’s not like there’s a shortage of 20-something males queueing up to ride in the Pro Tour. Even so, the idea of midnight raids is an extreme idea, usually reserved for drug barons and armed robbers, not routine anti-doping controls.

A useful report
All said, we should remember that this is only one suggestion. WADA have given a very long list of recommendations to the UCI and most of the others are procedural and useful. We need to be  careful not to attack the useful WADA report just because it contains a couple of extreme ideas.

1 thought on “Midnight raids, whatever next?”

  1. This kind of testing is is supposed to be used in conjunction with targetting.

    WADA also suggested dropping random testing and concentrating only on intelligence information and high performance during the race.

    Where there is a suspicion of doping from other sources e.g. police information, abnormal blood profiles, this kind of test should no longer be seen as a routine anti-doping control.

    From the point of view of a clean rider or an organisation trying to clean up a sport with systematic doping problems, I don't think adding extra late-night/early morning tests is an extreme idea.

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