“We at the ITA take this decision as an immense responsibility considering the critical importance of the fight against doping in cycling. UCI’s leading efforts in this field over the past 20 years have to be recognized, notably through the establishment of the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) and the expertise that the latter has built over the years to protect cycling, its athletes and competitions”, said ITA Director General Benjamin Cohen.
The ITA has been established as an independent not-for-profit Foundation in 2018 by the Olympic Movement and with the support of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to promote independence and expertise in the worldwide fight against doping.
The creation of ITA was considered necessary in view of the many recent large-scale doping scandals that continue to demonstrate that sport organisations can no longer fight this plague in isolation. Doping perpetrators consistently work across countries and sports and always in a more professional, systemic and organized manner. A global independent solution through coordinated efforts and resources is therefore key to progress in this complex area.
The ITA aims at uniting the sport movement behind clean sport and joining forces with any public or private organisation, research and academic centres willing to contribute to the eradication of doping in sport. UCI’s unanimous decision is a confirmation that the Cycling Family resolutely sees the ITA as the best way forward if it wishes to remain at the forefront of the fight against doping in the future.
Discussions will now take place between UCI, CADF and ITA to finalise the details of the transition and partnership. A dedicated Cycling Unit will be established within ITA that will benefit from all other ITA departments’ support and expertise to further promote UCI’s anti-doping programme. A smooth transition will be offered to all CADF personnel to join that Cycling Unit and continue developing cycling’s anti-doping program with additional support and resources.
“My team and I are humbled by and conscious of the difficult task ahead but stand ready to work tirelessly to ensure that cycling enjoys the status it deserves of a major global sport with riders, amateurs and professionals alike, competing in clean competitions”, Benjamin Cohen states. “I wish to thank, also on behalf of the Chair of the ITA Board Dr Valérie Fourneyron, the UCI and the Cycling Family for their trust and look forward to bringing together the fight against doping in cycling to unprecedented levels”.
Please find UCI’s official statement regarding the collaboration with the ITA here.