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MPCC responds to Reedie's open letter by questioning effectiveness of WADA

Joe Robinson
31 Oct 2018

MPCC claims police, journalists and athlete testimonies have been more effective in fight against doping than WADA

The Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC) has hit back at World Anti-Doping Agency president Craig Reedie's claims that the group 'demonstrates an astonishing lack of knowledge and understanding' by implying that WADA has done little in the fight against doping.

In another open letter from the MPCC - a group of professional teams who adhere to stricter self-imposed rules - it claims that 'most of the significant victories in the fight against doping since 1999, the year the World Anti-Doping Agency was created, came from police inquiries, journalistic investigations and testimonies from athletes' rather than WADA.

It then went on to ask questions such as 'Where would our sport stand had Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton not testified against the organised doping within the US Postal?' and 'Where would sport stand if, in 2006, the Spanish police had not set up a big operation against doping and picked up on the public accusation of Jesus Manzano, finally leading to Operation Puerto?'

It also enquired into the state of the sport if not for the work of journalists leading up to the Russian Sochi scandal. 

This comes after a long letter in which the MPCC addresses Reedie's letter, which defended his own position and the position of WADA surrounding Operacion Puerto, the Chris Froome salbutamol case, the Russian state doping scandal and the use of tramadol.

In the letter, the MPCC reaffirmed its claim that WADA had contradicted itself in regards to Froome's adverse analytical finding for salbutamol at the 2017 Vuelta a Espana 'which is devastating for the credibility of the sport' before commenting on WADA's decision to link to the lifetime ban of former US Postal sport director, Johan Bruyneel.

'The evocation of winning “a significant victory for clean cycling in securing enhanced bans for three of (our) sport’s most notorious cheats” on the day MPCC sent its open letter to WADA cannot be used as an argument to the problematic handling of Chris Froome’s abnormal control,' the statement read.

'These are two completely different matters. MPCC fails to understand why you deemed suitable to associate these two cases in your response to our open letter.'

It also responded to Reedie's claims that the MPCC demonstrated 'an astonishing lack of knowledge and understanding of what has happened to date' in regards to Operacion Puerto, claiming that WADA had downplayed the impact of the scandal while offering what it sees as a satisfactory response. 

'A response from you admitting that the handling of the Puerto case was not fully satisfying would have been way more representative of the terrible reality of this affair.

'Expressing satisfaction on this topic is not acceptable, and so is the fact that you dismissed MPCC’s arguments on the sole basis of a so-called “lack of knowledge” on the topic.'

The group then also criticised the current WADA stance on painkiller Tramadol stating that it 'expects some courage' in making a final decision on its legality pledging to continue its campaign for its banning instead of WADA's current policy of monitoring its use via the UCI.

While the MPCC's criticism of WADA may seem damning it could also be considered harsh. Newspapers or national police forces can concentrate time and resources to one particular case, WADA is forced into stretching a practically minuscule annual budget across every athlete in every sport. 

To put this into perspective, WADA's annual budget totals $30million-a-year which is less than the yearly budgets of Team Sky and Bahrain-Merida.

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