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LOS ANGELES, CA - AEG and Amgen, together with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), announced today their continued commitment to clean athletes and fair competition with the planned implementation of the most comprehensive anti-doping program in the history of the Amgen Tour of California. The 2011 Tour's anti-doping program builds upon the event's previous anti-doping protocols and represents an expanded effort in all elements. This year's program will include the following components:

Pre-race testing
  • Pre-race testing will begin February 15, 2011. All race participants may be subject to no-advance notice sample collections during this 90-day period leading up to the start of the race.
  • International riders will be subject to no-advance-notice, out-of-competition testing prior to competition in accordance with their international federation and national anti-doping organization testing pools.
In-competition testing
  • Testing will be conducted throughout the Amgen Tour of California in accordance with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code in-competition criteria. This will include daily doping controls following a strategic test distribution plan.


Testing protocol
  • All riders will be subject to either urine or blood collections, or both.
  • Samples will be screened for substances and methods included on the WADA Prohibited List, such as steroids, hormones (e.g. EPO), stimulants and various masking agents. For a full list of the substances and methods listed on the WADA Prohibited List please visit, www.usada.org/prohibited-list/.
  • Targeted samples will be subject to special analysis, such as the CIR test for synthetic testosterone and tests for CERA and hGH.
Sample Storage
  • All samples collected will be subject to the USADA sample storage and re-testing policy.
Whereabouts requirements
  • All participants must be in a registered testing pool during the 90-day lead-up to the race, including the provision of whereabouts information, informing and updating as to details of their whereabouts so they may be located for testing at any location and at any time, without advance notice.
Education
  • Athletes who are not already in a registered testing pool will be required to take mandatory education programming, including comprehensive information on the anti-doping rules and responsibilities, as well as information on the merits and benefits of clean competition.
  • Additional education programming opportunities will be made accessible to all riders, teams and support personnel during the 90-day race lead-up to ensure maximum understanding of the specific anti-doping rules.

"We are pleased to be able to continue our progress with our partners at USADA and Amgen. We are committed to ensuring that the Amgen Tour of California is a clean race. It is our intention to be a positive force in the sport of cycling, and fighting to ensure that our race is clean is an essential step," said Andrew Messick, president, AEG Sports.

"We applaud the Amgen Tour of California for pursuing an independent program in an effort to employ stringent anti-doping standards for this event," said USADA CEO, Travis T. Tygart. "With this continuing expansion of their anti-doping plan, the Tour is taking great strides in supporting clean athletes and actively advancing efforts for the integrity of competition."

"We commend AEG and USADA for their role in setting the most comprehensive anti-doping standards for the Amgen Tour of California. Doping of any kind is unethical, unsportsmanlike and potentially very unsafe. It has no place in any sport," said Amgen scientific executive director Steve Elliott. "As a sponsor of the Amgen Tour of California, we are committed to the anti-doping cause in cycling and beyond."

Amgen has a long history of opposing doping in sports and actively supports the goal of anti-doping agencies around the world to permanently eradicate this pernicious problem from cycling and all professional sports.

For more information about the Amgen Tour of California and to view the stage videos, please visit www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.