Tuesday, December 18, 2012


After signing onto a professional cycling team, every rider is added to the UCI's athlete drug testing pool. This means that they can come knocking on your door whenever they like and ask you for blood and urine samples.

So that they know where I am all of the time, I need to tell them where I will be every day, 3 months in advance. This means that I need to provide them with an address that I will be at during the day, a 1hr window in which I will definitely be at this address for testing and an address of where I will be sending the night. I recently had to enter all of my details up until the end of March 2013.

If I asked you where you will be at 2pm on February 12, 2013 could you tell me? I struggle to predict where I will be on the weekend, never mind in 3 months time!!

To go with these grand expectations, there are some dire consequences if you don't adhere to them. If you fail to enter your whereabouts in time or are not at the specified location on 3 occasions, you are deemed to be non-compliant and can be banned from competition for up to 2 years. It is the same as testing positive. This means, that if you decide to head down to the shops to pick up some milk and the testers knock on your door, you are in big trouble!

Here at training camp, I got a taste of the UCI drug testing. On day 6, the UCI turned up for a random doping control. A guy watched me pee into a cup and another lady took some blood from me. During the test, everything is carefully monitored and you are not even allowed to leave their sight until you have provided a sample.

5 days later and I was woken by a bang on the door as the UCI arrived for another test. We all rolled out of bed and sat around again, waiting to provide samples. The testers give you all the pleasantries and one lady even remembered my name but I suspect it is just a ploy to stop you from hating them.

Apparently, the frequency of the tests is due to the fact that we are new riders and do not yet have a 'passport' history of tests with the UCI. They require 3 tests to ensure that they have enough data on file to compare future samples with.

In 3 weeks time, I head to Italy for our second training camp. As the tester was finishing up, she politely wished me well and added, 'I will probably see you again in Italy.'



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