World-class road pros Danilo Di Luca, Alessandro Petacchi and Stefano Garzelli may not be racing the major Tours this year if their teams can’t sort out access to their biological passports to get a wild-card label.
Cycling teams Agritubel, Acqua e Sapone, LPR Brakes and Xacobeo have not received the wild card label needed, which allows riders access to their biological passport and hence the sport’s major tours, including the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia.
None of these teams figures among the 13 from the Continental Pro second-tier level which were awarded this label by the sport’s world governing body the International Cycling Union (UCI) on Tuesday. This concerns riders such as Italians Di Luca, Petacchi (LPR Brakes) and Garzelli (Acqua e Sapone), Frenchmen Romain Feillu, Christophe Moreau and Nicolas Vogondy (Agritubel).
The major tours, and particularly the Tour de France, have made it an entry stipulation that all teams must follow the rules concerning the biological passport.
The passport system, which records and charts blood and urine levels, is seen as a new and effective weapon in the fight against doping.
© BikeRadar & AFP 2009