Fri, Sep 26, 2003 - Page 22 News List

Union upset about report

INTERNATIONAL CYCLING A confidential paper on the Tour de France by the World Anti-Doping Agency was leaked and then published by a French sports daily

AP , GENEVA

The International Cycling Union blasted the World Anti-Doping Agency on Wednesday for leaking a confidential Tour de France report and vowed to exclude the agency from upcoming races.

The UCI was furious it didn't get the chance to study and amend "certain inaccurate points" in the report before it was leaked to the press and published in Monday's edition of the French sports daily L'Equipe.

"The UCI observes once more that these information leaks are absolutely unacceptable, often originate from France, and always take cycling as a privileged target," the body said in a statement.

"The UCI is not willing to tolerate similar situations anymore.''

It demanded WADA open an official investigation into the origin of the leak.

"You don't publish a confidential document," UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani said.

"We want to know the reasons documents are continually being leaked and most regularly in France."

A WADA statement issued Wednesday denied the agency leaked the report, saying it was provided to stakeholders as a courtesy before the official release expected today.

WADA said its director general, David Howman, condemned the leaking of the report and had spoken to UCI president Hein Verbruggen.

"We share UCI's concerns over the leaks to the media and we will work with them and our other partners, such as the French Ministry for Sport, to make sure that those responsible are identified," Howman said.

UCI noted that WADA apologized but said its confidence in the agency had been dented.

"Until this is resolved WADA will not be invited to any UCI cycling races," Carpani said. "For now there will be no more WADA observers."

WADA president Dick Pound, who also is a senior IOC member, said future cooperation was crucial to combatting drug use in cycling.

"We want to continue to work with UCI to reduce the impact of performance-enhancing drugs in that sport," Pound said.

"I am confident we can work together again at future Tours."

UCI was angered by observations in the report that riders have time to cheat when they are notified of being tested.

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