miércoles, 19 de marzo de 2014

The “Movement for Ethical Cycling” is up and running!

(by El Forastero)

Finally, the “Movement for Ethical Cycling” is up and running, and our blog have interviewed one of its Standard-Bearers: Ignacio Velez, Team 4-72 Advisor

Good Morning, Ignacio . Thanks for being on La Ruta del Escarabajo. Tell us , how did the idea of ​​“the movement for ethical cycling” begins?

Current idea was thought by Dr. Luis Eduardo Contreras (Indeportes Antioquia’s MD), Luisa Fernanda Ríos ( 4-72 Team Manager ) and myself. We already made ​​an effort about five years ago and it was a failure: People signed the agreement, but ultimately failed to comply with anything that had been committed to

How is the program structured?

The program consists of two committees:

- There is a “Verification Committee” (VC), which is composed by a delegate from each team that signs the code, a journalist (probably Lucho Escobar), Luis Ignacio Calle and Gustavo Pérez, which are two executives in Suramericana (a company that sponsors cycling in Colombia). They are all very respectable people, who will do a good role in the verification committee. This committee determines the code rules, and as the name says, it verifies that the adherents do respect and honor all the agreements in the Code .

- There is also a Scientific and Medical Committee (SMC) , in which we (Verification Committee) have no interference. It will consist of a Professional in statistics (biological passport theme involves rigorous statistical treatment of data), also Dr. Luis Eduardo Contreras and two Doctors from postgraduate programs in sports medicine at the Universidad de Antioquia, and Dr. Mike Pochowitz , PhD, which is one of the world's experts doping control and who is consulting with us about all scientific knowledge of the program.

What are the functions of the Medical Scientific committee?

We will use two accredited laboratories: “Colsanitas” and “Laboratorio Clínico Hematológico” . These labs will take samples and send the results to the scientific medical committee. It’s important to remark these results are not sent to us (Verification Committee). We want the scientific commission to be absolutely independent of us, in order to assure transparency and confidence in the program

How often these samples be taken?

The idea is that the samples are taken when the SMC indicates: In competition, out of it or during rest periods. Cyclists who are in the program must be available for testing. With this data, the SMC will start building a blood biological passport, which is essentially a statistical method that monitors several parameters and scores, with advice from Dr. Mike Pochowitz .

Who is responsible for interpreting results?

When there is a rider with some abnormal values​​, the SMC is responsible for notifying the team. The team is required to withdraw the rider from its racing program, not allowing him to race until further notice by the SMC. It’s up to the team wheatear or not to continue with the rider’s contract. In the case that a team does not withdraw the rider, the SMC will inform the VC of the agreement violation.

This ensures the reliability of the results

Yes, the VC never knows which riders have anomalous results, unless the team fails so the follow the agreement; since all members of the SMC have a confidentiality agreement. We want everything to be very transparent and very independent so it does not look like a witch hunt, but essentially to guarantee that all riders compete on equal terms 

Which Teams are parts of program?

Today we are three teams: “4-72 – Colombia”, “Indeportes Antioquia“ and "GW - Shimano". It seems that COLDEPORTES-CLARO and EPM- UNE are interested in joining the code. We will hold a special meeting of the VC in order to study their intentions. We will meet with each Team’s General Managers in order to show the agreement with all the details. If they accept the terms and sign, they’ll automatically be adhering to the code, will have a seat on the Verification Committee and its riders will undergo tests according to the needs of the SMC

What will your relationship with COLDEPORTES, which is responsible for sampling and penalties?

We're not official agency; we are a group of teams who will have independent and voluntary controls. We have no power to punish or sanction anyone, but we have agreed to withdraw the riders with unusual indicators.

Further, The MSC is obliged to communicate any suspicious or abnormal readings (before notifying the team) to Dr. Orlando Reyes , Director of the COLDEPORTES Doping Control, in order for them to decide whether to test this athletes ​​in out-of-competence time. In essence, we will help COLDEPORTES in non-competitive test programme.

What is the next step?

The VC already had its first meeting, we signed the agreement, we defined all the regulations that will govern us. If necessary, we could include more rules as the program evolves. 

Now we will meet again to study the application of two teams who want to enter, we will invite their Team Mangers and say them: "These are the conditions, do you want to enter the program? Sign this agreement "

Which do you think the will benefit from this program the most?

It benefit is for all riders, all teams and cycling in general. But I think specially young people could be the ones to benefit the most if this succeeds, because an internal biological passport with normal values will open them the big doors. It is important to educate young people so that they become the spokespersons to our program and finally to our dream: that Colombia be not only known for the high quality of its riders , but also for being a leader in the fight against doping, the cancer of our beautiful sport.