AEG, Amgen and the US Anti Doping Agency (USADA) announced what they claim is “the most comprehensive anti-doping program in the history of the Amgen Tour of California.”
But first, there’s this news about Filippo Simeoni’s response to an interview Floyd Landis did with Paul Kimmage.
In 2002, Simeoni testified against Dr. Michele Ferrari, who was accused distributing performance enhancing drugs. Ferrrari was associated with many winning cyclists through the 90s and was team doctor for the USPS cycling team. Lance Armstrong didn’t hide his disdain for Simeoni’s testimony. When Simeoni led a six man breakaway in the 2004 Tour de France, Armstrong chased Simeoni and reeled him back to “protect the peloton”, humiliating Simeoni and robbing him of his chance at a stage win.
There’s also some personal history between Paul Kimmage and Armstrong. Kimmage — the man who interviewed Landis for the Daily Mail — wrote a tell all book about doping in cycling and has been very public in his doping accusations toward Armstrong and other high profile cyclists. Armstrong, likewise, hasn’t been shy in firing back against Kimmage and others who accuse him and his friends of doping.
Naturally, Simeoni says he welcomes Landis’s recent disclosures about doping and the shenanigans of the 2004 Tour de France.
2010 Amgen Tour of California Doping Controls
It’s in this environment that AEG (which owns the Tour of California race), title sponsor Amgen, and the USADA announced expanded doping controls for the California race.
The biggest change over previous years is the use of extensive pre-competition testing beginning on February 15. This means all teams must provide provisional rosters to USADA by next week, and every rider must provide their whereabouts to the USADA from Feb 15 until race day. Each team must provide a list of 12 riders, and the final 8 man team in May must be selected from that list. This applies to the Continental teams as well as the Pro teams who have been invited to compete in the race this year.
All race participants may be subject to no-advance notice sample collections during this 90-day period leading up to the start of the race. International riders will be subject to no-advance-notice, out-of-competition testing prior to competition in accordance with their international federation and national anti-doping organization testing pools.