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Rise in doping cases 'casts a shadow' on efficiency of anti-doping, MPCC claims

Joe Robinson
6 Aug 2019

Cycling placed fourth in the 'most affected by attacks to the sport’s ethics' ranking

Cases of doping in 2019 are almost triple that of the total reported in 2018 despite only being halfway through the year, a report has highlighted.

By June of this year, cycling had already seen 15 cases of riders being caught for doping which was remarkably higher than the six cases reported for the whole of 2018.

The increase in doping cases was highlighted in a report released by the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC), a voluntary body consisting of professional teams who adhere to stricter doping rules, in which it posted the ‘worst results’ for cycling since the group began documenting doping and corruption cases in sport in 2014.

The noticeable increase in cases comes as a result of the Operation Aderlass scandal that saw a German police investigation uncover a doping ring in Austria that sanctioned multiple riders from a series of different sports for historic blood doping.

This saw seven individual cyclists sanctioned by the UCI and WADA for their involvement with German physician Mark Schmidt.

Riders including retired sprinter Alessandro Petacchi and Grand Tour stage winner Stefan Denifl were provisionally suspended for receiving illegal blood transfusions from Schmidt.

While the MPCC realised that four of the cases were for historic doping dating back as far as 2011, it stated that, ‘it shed a light on very modern techniques of – sometimes hard – doping (blood transfusions), which casts a shadow on the efficiency of anti-doping fight and tarnishes the image of cycling.’ 

Of the 15 cases reported since 1st January, four have involved Colombian riders - including Jarlison Pantano - three Slovenian athletes and three Austrians.

Cycling’s 15 doping cases have seen it placed the fourth most affected sport by doping in 2019, up from 13th in 2018.

Currently, only weightlifting (33 doping case), baseball (20 cases) and track and field (17 cases) have reported a worse record so far in 2019.

If a silver lining can be taken from the MPCC’s report, it is that cycling has yet to file any corruption cases for 2019 whereas football has already reported 13 cases.

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