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British Cycling considered 'early warning system' to catch dopers in run up to Rio Olympics

The organisation debated the idea of a traffic light system to flag possible discrepancies in biological passports

British Cycling looked at establishing an 'early warning system' that would help flag cheating riders in 2016 as preparations for the Olympics ramped up.

Sources at BC claim the proposal was discussed by figures including Andy Harrison, Programmes Director at British Cycling, Shane Sutton, then head coach, plus Dr Richard Freeman and assorted other staff who were copied into internal correspondence.

Sportsmail report that the idea was put to British Cycling's sports and ethics commission, which agreed to ask the UK Anti-Doping Agency for access to riders' Athlete Biological Passport data.

The UCI, had traditionally allowed pro cycling teams, including Team Sky, to have their own early warning systems.

British Cycling were reportedly keen to have their own internal 'alert system' for their Olympic riders, similar to the one that Team Sky had.

Freeman, with the agreement of Harrison, circulated an email in January of that year saying: 'I agree that we put a proposal to the [BC sports and ethics] commission re the [ABP].'

He suggested asking each rider on the ABP monitoring programme to submit their monthly test results on a voluntary basis to him 'for statistical analysis similar to that performed by the anti-doping agencies. This is an opportunity to assess frequency of testing and give warning of target testing.'

Freeman explained this would allow BC to provide monthly reports on their riders that would be coded either green (no concerns), amber (some concerns) or red (get ready for a possible adverse passport finding by UKAD or the UCI).

Freeman concluded there would be benefits to both riders and BC 'in having this monitoring of the ABP, allowing early detection in fluctuations of the riders ABP.'

The commission approved the proposal and it was put to UKAD, who said they wouldn't share ABP data and ultimately the plan was ditched.

> UK Anti-Doping retests British riders’ samples in wake of Richard Freeman case

As previously reported, UKAD are currently under investigation by WADA for effectively allowing BC to conduct private internal investigations and urine testing in a non-WADA lab in 2011 following an anomalous test sample by a British rider in late 2010.

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