PARIS, March 21, 2013 (AFP) – The president of the French Anti-Doping
Agency (AFLD) on Thursday criticized leading international federations for not
taking the fight against doping seriously enough.
Bruno Genevois also expressed his frustration at the time taken to put into
place the measures required to carry out the fight against doping.
At a hearing at the Senate, the upper house of the French parliament, into
the efficiency of the anti-doping system, Genevois said the delay in putting
plans into action was one of the biggest barriers to fighting doping
efficiently at an international level.
“There is a discrepancy between those who believe (in fighting doping) and
those who put it into practice,” he said.
“For example, the international football federation (FIFA) dedicates 1.2
million euros ($1.5m, £1m) a year to the fight: that is 0.09 percent of their
revenue of 1.394 billion euros.
“For the Olympic federations, some sources say they dedicate 35 million
euros a year, while for tennis it is 1.3 million euros.”
Different sporting federations also apply very different methods when it
comes to doping controls, Genevois added.
He said that, during the 2010 football World Cup in South Africa,
“unofficial sources claimed that just four urine tests and one blood test were
carried out for each competing nation over the course of a one-month
“That seems to me to be completely insufficient.”
Genevois also complained that the AFLD was set to be seriously hit by a cut
in funding from the French government.
“We discovered in mid-February that the subsidy given to us would be
reduced by a tenth in 2013,” he said without revealing any exact figures.
“It is bad news even if the AFLD understands that those controlling public
finances have to make certain choices.”
According to Genevois, the government subsidy constitutes 90 percent of the
AFLD’s budget, which is believed to total around 9.2 million euros ($11.9m,
The Senate commission into the effectiveness of doping controls intends to
hear in the near future from the organizers of various sporting events,
including the Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), which organizes the Tour de
“The commission will hear from some of the leading event organisers,” said
Jean-Francois Humbert, a politician from the opposition UMP party who is the
president of the investigating commission.
“I have no precise date, but I know it is something we will do.
“It has escaped nobody that we are talking a lot about cycling. ASO will be
among those called forward.”
The commission, set up at the end of February, has six months to complete
its report, but should do so before the end of June, when the French
parliament goes into summer recess.
At a hearing on Wednesday, the former president of the AFLD, Pierre Bordry,
encouraged the commission to call forward ASO, as “they know a lot about what
goes on in their competition.”
Cycling’s already stained reputation in the fight against doping has been
further damaged by the recent Lance Armstrong affair, and the AFLD has in the
past had a difficult relationship with the International Cycling Union (UCI).
However, the AFLD announced last month that they would now be working
closely with the UCI in an attempt to stamp out cheating on the Tour de France.