Passport Control

Dr Michael Ashenden, an independent reviewer of blood profiles in cycling, has announced that he is resigning his position from the Athlete Passport Management Unit (APMU), a body that provides expert advice on so-called ‘biological passports’ after the introduction of more stringent non-disclosure and confidentiality clauses in contracts.  Dr Ashenden, who has provided expert witness testimony in a number of high-profile doping cases, including those of Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong, has claimed there is a culture of ‘omerta’ (a mafia code of silence) within the anti-doping establishment. The biological passports, which track an electronic record of both blood and urine tests for individual athletes, are considered by some to be the future of anti-doping measures, whilst opponents claim they are an easily circumvented system. The Union Cycliste International is believed to have thanked Dr Ashenden for his contributions over the years but have refused any further comment.


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