The president of the Union Cycliste Internationale, David Lappartient, does not want to be “naive” when no case of doping has been revealed for 18 months in the Worldtour. However, he considers cycling safe from a return to the dark years.
For the first time since its creation in 2005, the World Tour recorded no doping cases in 2021, at the end of an Olympic year which overall revealed fewer doping cases in all sports. A first that the Union Cycliste Internationale can obviously only welcome. But David Lappartient, its president, wants to be lucid. “If we don’t have positive results, it’s good news for the UCI. However, we are not so naive to believe that there is no more doping”he said during a meeting with the leaders of the International Testing Agency (ITA).
You always have to stay awake
He nevertheless wants to believe in a certain awareness in the peloton and a better education, the younger generations having grown up while the doping cases followed one another. “The young runners have grown up with the fight against blood doping”he explained, aware nevertheless that it was not necessary to slow down. “We must always remain alert in the fight against doping. It’s something that can really come back if you slow down the effort, he asserted. We know that doping cases can still happen and will likely continue to happen, but what we want to send as a message to cheaters is that we want them to be sure that we will catch them.
We won’t compromise
“And our goal is not to catch cheaters but to prevent cheaters from cheating”, he added again, repeating that the ITA had carte blanche to update the networks that go beyond the sole framework of sport and to be as dissuasive as possible. “We are very attentive to new doping substances and methods. When we become aware of something, we act quickly”he assured, adding: “In terms of credibility in the fight against doping, what you lose in five minutes, you only regain in 20 years. Although we have done a lot and regained credibility, we will not compromise now. » A reference obviously to the dark years of cycling.
The Armstrong era will not return
And if he therefore remains vigilant, David Lappartient does not want to believe in a step back, when EPO was commonplace in the peloton or when Lance Armstrong crushed the Tour de France seven years in a row with great use of prohibited products. “The doping era of Lance Armstrong and Jan Ullrich will never come back”he told velonews, confident in the fight against doping to avoid a scandal that could spell the end of cycling.
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