Head Doctor Joost De Maeseneer came to work at Astana Pro Team in 2013, and leads his group of four physicians to care for 30 professional cyclists at more than 250 days of racing from January to October -
In his own words, Dr De Maeseneer explains Astana's fundamental and structural anti-doping mechanisms -
"We are members of the MPCC, the Mouvement Pour Cyclisme Credibile - part of the French anti-doping professional program - to check cortisol levels - we follow the no-needle policy, there are no outside supplements allowed, no outside trainers, we don't use sprays - we think this is a good idea, and we joined the MPCC in 2013 - not all the teams in the World Tour are members of the MPCC, we think this should not be the case -"
"It adds to the overall number of blood tests we do in a year - I would say the top riders are tested approximately no less than 50 times per year - the top riders - Nibali at the tour was once tested four times in 24 hours - and he wore the yellow jersey for 18 days -"
"We use an internal online spreadsheet to pass all of the data among the doctors - there is the ADAMS whereabouts program, the regular weight and fat percentage data - for our own internal blood testing for the bio passport and also for all our health check-ups we work with CAD in Torino, an Italian anti-doping laboratory run by Professor Paolo Borrione, who has been an executive at the Italian Anti-Doping Committee and has a very respected international reputation in the fight against doping -"
"I came aboard with Vino in 2013 - it was the first time I met him, and he asked me to be the head doctor here - I told him the first thing, 'Ok, Vino that's great if that is the case, then I need absolutely to increase the budget to bring a fourth doctor for the team -"
"Four doctors is the minimum you can have in a big team at the top level - this way we can always have a doctor at every race, and one back at home to work at the computer or process our data if something has to happen -"
"This weekend is a good example - one doctor with the team for Strade Bianche, and he then goes after that to Tirreno-Adriatico - there is one doctor for Paris-Nice and another to Langkawi - you remember Guardini had a bad bad crash last year on the early stage and his foot was in stitches - but we had a doctor who could spend more time with the wound, more time with Guardini - and Andrea came back and won two more sprints at the Tour de Langkawi - without the doctor he could have had less attention, got sick and maybe left the race -"
"Bad things happen, and idiots exist all around the world, even in cycling - two idiots who violated the rules on their own got caught, and the system caught them - that means the system works -"
"The team has everything in place for riders who want to succeed without doping, and Astana has 30 riders and 40 staff - who are the very best in the business - and all together we are at the front in the fight against performance enhancing drugs in cycling - "