Following on the heels of Michael Ashenden’s resignation from the biological passport panel, the remaining panel members have been summarily dismissed by the UCI in favor of a group of experts with a “vast pool of expertise to catch the cheats.”
“We have examined what is required for us to catch those who continually flout the system, and in conjunction with the Athlete Passport Management Unit in Lausanne, we have determined a better course of action to ensure the safety of sporting criteria in cycling,” commented an unnamed representative from the AMPU.
The new panel will consist of Michele Ferrari, Francesco Conconi, Eufemiano Fuentes, and Luis Garcia del Moral.
“All four have extensive practical knowledge to aid in our ability to interpret the data and determine if sporting values are being manipulated. In fact, most have presided over medical and sporting value panels in the past,” continued the AMPU representative.
When asked if the appointment of these four individuals had anything to do with his resignation, Ashenden was blunt in his retort.
“I’m not really concerned about the fact that these four are now ‘the panel,’ I’m more concerned that the Lausanne crowd responsible for allegedly conspiring to hide Armstrong’s doping positive are the foxes in the hen house. I mean, c’mon, can we make the game just a little more obvious please. Please? The level of cloak and dagger skullduggery by this omertà is positively staggering. I’m going back to kayaking,” concluded Ashenden.
When reached for comment, UCI spokesperson Enrico Carpani offered additional information.
“We are no longer directly involved with the biological passport programme. That task is now farmed out to the Athlete Passport Management Unit in Lausanne, which is at present a separate private profit center created with UCI monies from the now defunct ProTour fund. With this new business entity, our plans are to revolutionize the bio passport programme business in the same manner that we have revolutionized race organization with Global Cycling Promotion,” commented Carpani.
UCI president Pat McQuaid was unable to be reached to contribute to this story, as he was circulating in the elite track cycling circles of Australia. He was last seen in the company of Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard at an exclusive Livestrong fundraiser.
Ferrari, Conconi, Fuentes, and del Moral plan on holding a WorldTour orientation session in September to acquaint the pro peloton with the “new rules” for 2013.