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Call for WADA President to resign; Sastre’s Tour victory honoured: Daily News Digest

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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:

The Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) are having an extremely public argument after the MPCC called for WADA’s president to resign. MPCC listed its grievances in a public letter and among them were WADA’s handling of Chris Froome’s Salbutamol case. Also, Carlos Sastre was honoured in his hometown for the 10th anniversary of his Tour win. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.

Story of the day: MPCC blasts WADA over Froome case and Tramadol

The MPCC has slammed WADA on a variety of issues and called for the anti-doping agency’s president, Craig Reedie, to resign. In an open letter from the MPCC, WADA was criticised for not elevating the powerful pain reliever Tramadol to its banned list, reinstating Russia’s anti-doping agency, and the handling of Chris Froome’s Salbutamol case and Operación Puerto.

MPCC is a voluntary organisation consisting of 45 men’s teams from the WorldTour, Pro Continental and Continental level. Six women’s teams are also part of the organisation. The MPCC strives for transparency and clean sport with teams committing to stricter anti-doping rules than the UCI and WADA require. Only seven WorldTour teams are part of the MPCC and, notably, Team Sky is not one of those teams.

Chris Froome’s Salbutamol case was abruptly dismissed the week before the start of the 2018 Tour de France, some seven months after the initial news broke that he had twice the permitted amount of Salbutamol allowed in his body following a post-stage anti-doping test at the 2017 Vuelta a España. The MPCC pulled no punches when slamming WADA for its handling of the case.

Tramadol has also been a point of contention in the sport of cycling. Many have called for years for the drug to be banned, but WADA has kept it on its monitoring list. “In 2015, Tramadol was detected in 5.9% of the samples taken in cycling. In 2017, this figure dropped to 4.4%,” the MPCC wrote regarding Tramadol use in cycling. “This level is dropping, but is still higher than in any other endurance sports. These sports are as much concerned about this as cycling. MPCC wishes to see this substance banned in competition for ethic reasons (performance enhancing), but also for the sake of the riders’ safety and health. To leave things as they are could endanger the health of our athletes.”

WADA President Reedie fought back against the MPCC, criticizing the organisation for simplifying complex cases. “As regards Christopher Froome, WADA remains convinced that the UCI reached the correct and fair outcome in what was a very complex case,” Reedie said. “Your efforts to over-simplify it, without having knowledge of the voluminous file of the case and both the scientific and legal challenges it raised, demonstrate an unfortunate attempt to cast a shadow on WADA’s credibility and an obvious refusal to accept the reality of what happened.”

Tweet of the day

Dutch cyclocross racer Corné van Kessel nearly completed a full front flip when he crashed during the Soudal Classic GP Neerpelt over the weekend.

Race Radio

Sastre honoured on 10-year anniversary of Tour win

10 years ago, Spaniard Carlos Sastre flew up the slopes of Alpe d’Huez to win a Tour stage and take the maillot jaune. Days later he rode into Paris as the winner of the 2008 Tour de France. Over the weekend, Sastre’s Tour victory was celebrated in his hometown of El Barraco. Present at the ceremony were former Tour winners Miguel Indurain, Pedro Delgado, and Federico Bahamontes.

The local sports complex was renamed in Sastre’s honour.

Transfer News

UAE Team Emirates has snatched up another promising young talent from Axel Merckx’s coveted under-23 development team. Belgian Jasper Philipsen has signed with the program, following the Oliveira brothers Rui and Ivo. The 20-year-old had a solid year, capturing top-five results at the under-23 versions of the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. He also won stages of the Giro Bio, the under-23 Giro d’Italia, and the Larry. H. Miller Tour of Utah.

Philipsen is the fifth rider to graduate to the WorldTour for the 2019 season from Merckx’s team. He joins the Oliveira brothers, Will Barta (CCC Team), and Sean Bennett (EF Education First-Drapac).

Jasper Philippsen (Hagens Berman Axeon) just barely edged out Travis McCabe (Unitedhealthcare) to take stage 4 of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. Photo: Cor Vos

Happy Birthday to …

Frenchman Warren Barguil and Belgian Victor Campenaerts both turn 27 years old today. Barguil won two stages and the King of the Mountains classification at the 2017 Tour de France. Campenaerts is a two-time European time trial champion.

Warren Barguil won atop the Col d’Izoard on Stage 18 at the 2017 Tour de France.

Today’s Feature Image: A throwback photograph by Kristof Ramon from the semi-spring classic Tro Bro Leo, which takes place on the rough farm roads of Brittany, France.

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