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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 March 2006, 21:11 GMT
Cyclists protest at doping method
cycling
Riders at the Tirreno-Adriatico race have threatened to refuse blood tests after being angered by early morning tests carried out in a hotel hallway.

They were upset by the nature of the tests by the sport's governing body (UCI) on Wednesday.

"The riders confirm their full willingness to undergo all the tests," said their union representatives.

"But (the cyclists) call for the creation of methods that protect their dignity and privacy."

We are very sorry about the lack of privacy during the recent tests
UCI spokesman
Under UCI rules, the tests should be carried out in private, with a hotel room or meeting room often used.

However, according to one of the 48 riders involved, the early morning tests at Tirreno-Adriatico were done in a hallway as other riders and team staff walked in to breakfast.

"We strongly call on the UCI to respect the rules and announce the riders will not accept a repetition of similar episodes," added the statement by the the Italian (ACCPI) and international (CPA) professional cyclists' associations.

In response, a UCI spokesman apologised and explained the difficulties of carrying out the early morning surprise blood tests.

"We are very sorry about the lack of privacy during the recent tests and the UCI doctor responsible involved has already apologised to the riders," a spokesman said.




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