• Cycling continues to lead the anti-doping fight. (Getty)Source: Getty
Cycling is among six sports which lead the fight against doping according to a new report comissioned by the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations.
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Cycling Central
14 Nov 2016 - 9:57 AM  UPDATED 14 Nov 2016 - 12:27 PM

Cycling remains the favourite whipping boy of many media organisations and commentators, particularly those with investments in sports involving round balls, oval balls or four legs.

And while some sanity has returned to the doping narrative because of doping revelations in other sports and nations, cycling still seems to get more than its fair share of negative media.

So this report by the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) should be a reality check for critics and give them some important context to ponder before shooting their mouths off on Sunday morning TV.

Its always been the case that cycling has been on the forefront of the doping battle, with many anti-doping initiatives like around the clock and longitudinal testing, the bio-passport, no needles policy and strict liability, quickly adopted.

While others looked away, cycling faced its crisis head-on.

All of those earlier initiatives mean that today the sport argues less about actual doping and more about the ethical limits of the therapeutic use exemption (TUE) system. 

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While doping still occurs in cycling, the consensus is that it is much cleaner than the past with the athletes themselves often leading the way culturally.

So it should come as no surprise to find that cycling is showing leadership in this area while putting real money on the table in support.

According to Inside The Games, the ASOIF report said that just six sports provide up to 80 per cent of the funding, with the International Cycling Union (UCI) the largest single contributor.

According to ASOIF president Francesco Ricci Bitti "The findings provide a clear indication as to how much the Summer Olympic IFs (International Federations) spend globally on fulfilling their obligations under the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) code."

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The report found that the total anti-doping budget amounted to $30 million with the top six federations providing almost $24 million of that sum.

"We expect the research outcomes to deliver valuable information for the ongoing discussion concerning how to enhance the future fight against doping and the potential creation of an independent authority for testing," Ricci Bitti said.

The data came from 26 of the 28 sports that appeared on the programme at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

"Our ultimate objective must be to protect athletes in the best way possible," Ricci Bitti said.