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UCI Doc Says Doping War Can Be Won

Nov 12, 2012

Speaking at Aspire4Sport, a Middle East’s sport business conference, Dr Mario Zorzoli, Chief Doctor for the International Cycling Union, a federation under pressure in the fallout from the Lance Armstrong doping scandal, has claimed that the war against drug cheats in sport can be won.

Dr Zorzoli, addressing the conference on the subject ‘Genetically Modified Athletes: Myth or Reality?’ said: "Despite what is happening, I’m optimistic going forward.  We have new testing procedures that are far more advanced than the testing procedures we had even five years ago.  There are things like the biological passport that monitor athletes over a long period of time.

"Essentially we are moving from the toxicology approach that existed in the seventies to now a more forensic science approach.  As well as the biological passport, we are using intelligence from the police as proof of doping.  So this clearly shows that there are improvements and these improvements will lead to good results in the future.

"|The pharmaceutical companies will also allow the sharing of technical information which will benefit the anti-doping laboratories so they will have validated detection methods before the commercialisation of these drugs."

The forensic approach, as Dr Zorzoli calls it, has two sides, one of those in play when the sport caught Chinese rogues red handed and helped prevent abuse of under-aged athletes by making the Chinese state aware that it had a serious and widespread problem on its hands. The approach was simple enough, though resisted politically (to some extent, that continues to be the case): to catch a cheat you have to assume cheating is out there, with off-the-chart performances met with the scrutiny they deserve.