High Road signs with ACE anti-doping programme

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10.12.2007/ Team High Road is implementing a new comprehensive and independent anti-doping program. The program will be managed by Agency for Cycling Ethics (ACE), a company that provides anti-doping monitoring and testing programs to prevent and detect doping behavior in cyclists.

"Last year we made a strong commitment to fight against doping," said Bob Stapleton of High Road Sports. "It is the most comprehensive program out there. It is what the team needs and what the sport needs."

Through this program, each of the team’s riders will give a minimum of 26 random blood AND urine samples per year. This is dramatically more testing than any other program conducts and will allow ACE to build profiles of each individual rider so that they will be able to detect small changes in the body chemistry that may be caused by blood transfusions or banned substances. The profiles will use blood and urine to build hematological parameters and a urinary steroidal profile. ACE will send test results to the UCI, to WADA and to the team.

The profiles are intended to be used in conjunction with the new World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) biological passports, which the UCI has announced will be introduced for each ProTour rider at the beginning of the 2008 season. The passports will act as a record of all tests for each professional rider to provide more comprehensive blood and urine profiles, much the same as the ACE system works.

The ACE program is fully endorsed by the UCI. Anne Gripper commented that "the Agency for Cycling Ethics (ACE) assists cycling teams to create a doping-free culture by providing a robust, independent and transparent anti-doping program." She added that, "Bob Stapleton and High Road Sports continue to demonstrate leadership in this regard. By initiating a comprehensive team-based anti-doping program delivered by the Agency for Cycling Ethics (ACE), by actively supporting the UCI in their broad anti-doping efforts and most importantly, by actively working to create a doping-free culture within their team, they are a role model for other teams to follow."

Stapleton stated, "We started with the first testing at our team meeting in October and we are very pleased to see that our riders understand the importance of these strict measures. We believe frequent comprehensive testing and using profiles that detect small changes in body chemistry are invaluable tools to ensure the future of the team in the sport. The testing will keep us more informed about the conduct and health of our athletes," he added.

ACE is also 100 percent committed to the same cause. CEO of ACE, Paul Strauss MD, says they are excited to be working with the team to bring their program to the highest level. "For us", he said, "It is great to have the opportunity to participate in this positive change, not only with Team High Road, but with the whole sport of cycling."

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