The UCI Management Committee approved the amendment of the UCI Regulations on 4 May 2011 in order to prohibit and sanction the use of injections of medicines (or other substances) without a clear medical indication. This initiative, called the No Needle Policy, gives concrete expression to the UCI's desire to protect the riders' health, maintain equality of opportunity and fight against doping.
The UCI Regulations now prohibit injections of medicines or other substances, without a medical indication, that have the objective of artificially improving performance or recovery (vitamins, sugars, enzymes, amino acids, antioxidants, etc.). This measure is above all designed to protect the riders' health and contribute to eradicating doping by restricting a practice that is all too often abused.
By prohibiting injections and establishing associated sanctions, the UCI is seeking, in particular, to:
- eliminate perfusion and injection without medical indication, as these represent an open door to doping;
- encourage natural physical recovery by rejecting the principle of the automatic recourse to injections;
- provide doctors with the means to resist pressure from riders or their entourages who seek unjustified treatment, in order to allow them to respect point 6.3 of the Olympic Movement Medical Code: "Athletes’ health care providers (…) must refrain from performing any intervention that is not medically indicated, even at the request of the athletes, their entourage or another health care provider (…)."
Breach of these new regulations will lead to sanctions for the rider, team doctor or team.
The prohibition of the use of injections is the result of discussions within the UCI Medical Commission that commenced in November 2010 and is the fruit of collaboration with the International Federation of Rowing Associations (FISA).
The UCI presented the concept of the No Needle Policy to Professional Team doctors on 4 March, the day before the start of the Paris-Nice. The UCI has sought to introduce the prohibition of the use of injections before the Giro d'Italia which starts on 7 May.