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Team Sunweb launch independent anti-doping programme to 'intensify testing'

Joe Robinson
5 Jan 2018

Primary sponsor Sunweb set to found independent anti-doping programme to increase testing on its teams

In a bid to intesify the testing of its riders, Sunweb has launched its own independent anti-doping programme for its self-titled team.

Announced at the team's 2018 launch in Berlin, the programme will work in collaboration with the Dutch anti-doping authority in order to increase testing on both its male and female teams in what is described as 'the next step in enabling a clean sport'.

This initiative will work in tandem with the regualr tests performed by the World Anti-Doping Agency, working in a similar manor to the international body as described by the Dutch doping authorities CEO Herman Ram.

'This new programme is out of competition urine and blood test, and interpretation of the test results. The programme is fully compliant with WADA standards,' Ram said.

'This new programme is completely independent; the team does not indicate when, where and which athlete wants to be tested.

'Both Team Sunweb's male and female athletes are subject to the exact same regime; The ADAMS systems of which all of the team's riders submit their whereabouts via the ADAMS systems are all tested out of competition, unannounced, and both,' he added.

'When a violation of the doping rules is detected, the standard procedure will be applied.'

The team and sponsor both declared that the sport was in the process 'of leaving its turbulent years behind' and with that in mind also announced that this programme would encompass its developement setup.

This has been implemented in a bid to engrain an anti-doping ethos in the sport's next generation of talent and provide 'biological values ​​at a young age, which will remain a reference for their values ​​later on in their careers.'

The team hopes that this new method of testing, that will help alleviate expectations of WADA and increase testing, will become the norm for investors in the sport and help take footsteps in building a credible reputation.

For many, this will be a welcomed sight regarding recent issues with the sport. The duo of Team Sky controversies - Chris Froome's salbutamol case and Bradley Wiggins's jiffy bag saga - have, if anything, highlighted flaws surrounding the anti-doping process as a whole.

The addition of another layer of testing, and management of anti-doping, could well be a step in avoiding the scandals seen as of late.

The programme will be in effect as of the beginning of this season.