MADRID, June 28 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The International Cycling Union (UCI) published this Tuesday an updated version of the COVID protocol in the new context of the pandemic originating from the coronavirus, according to which it is mandatory to present a negative antigen test of all members of a team two days before the start of the race in order to among other things, “to respond to the need to increase medical surveillance of the platoon and team members”.
According to the UCI statement, this health protocol was drawn up by a management group under the responsibility of the organization’s medical director, Xavier Bigard, composed of representatives of riders, teams, team doctors and organizers.
The changes announced this Tuesday in the protocol, last updated on January 24, 2022, concern mainly the large tours and respond to the need to increase the medical surveillance of the train, team staff and officials before an epidemiological situation “change marked by an increase in the number of recently reported positive cases of COVID-19”.
Mandatory at least one negative antigen test of all team members (runners and coaches) must be presented two days before the start of the race; As on the rest days of the event, antigens will be administered to all team members (riders and staff) as well as to the stewards (international and national), the UCI Technical Delegates and the doping control staff.
In the event that a positive case is confirmed within a team, be it a rider or a staff member, the decision to potentially isolate the case will be made jointly by the relevant team doctor, the event’s COVID-19 doctor and the Medical Director of taken the intensive care unit, based on the available clinical elements.
In addition, the UCI announced further “strongly recommended” but not mandatory regulations. He therefore advises running antigen tests on all team members daily for the five days leading up to the race to ensure no one is a carrier of the virus, which is “essential for the constitution of the team bubble and the platoon bubble. “What they also consider to be favorable during the race, if possible daily, but at least every two to three days.
Additionally, this new protocol repeals the rule that authorized the organizer to withdraw from the race any team with two or more runners who tested positive for COVID-19 PCR tests within a seven-day period.
The President of the UCI, David Lappartient, admitted that he considers “a reinforcement of the current measures” to be “necessary” to “ensure the successful conduct of the races and to protect the health of the participants”. “Although the situation we are currently experiencing with the pandemic is less worrying than what we saw at the height of the health crisis, we must remain vigilant,” he urged.
“With that in mind, I urge everyone involved to continue to diligently comply with all provisions of our health protocols. This discipline and solidarity have allowed us to maintain our activities over the past two years and will allow us to face the event that the pandemic worsens in the future,” explained Lappartient.