A new independent anti-doping programme in the Netherlands
The Sunweb professional cycling team launched an internal anti-doping programme at the start of the latest cycling season. The entire programme will be run by the Dutch Doping Authority. Team Sunweb is therefore the first cycling team in the world which, alongside the standard control programme, will have its own athletes subjected to doping controls by an independent third party. This agreement between Sunweb and the Dutch Doping Authority has inevitably raised eyebrows. Criticisms have focused on the possible suggestion of a conflict of interest. What exactly is the thinking behind the programme? How should this programme be seen in the context of existing anti-doping efforts? And could the independence of the Doping Authority be at stake? In this article Michiel van Dijk discusses these questions and the integrity concerns.