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USA Cycling to triple amateur anti-doping efforts

As part of sweeping changes for the 2016 season, USA Cycling will triple its anti-doping efforts, drop one-day license prices, and add a one-day option for higher category racers, according to documents obtained by VeloNews.

The reforms, which were sent to local organizations, race organizers and other stakeholders on Friday, are designed to decrease costs for new riders while placing the financial burden for anti-doping on more experienced riders.

All reforms are currently in a one-week comment period ending on Friday, November 20th. They come five months after the installment of CEO Derek Bouchard-Hall, as the organization struggles with falling membership, decreasing sponsorship, a longstanding image problem, and a new competitor for grassroots race sanctioning, North American Cycle Sport.

To increase anti-doping efforts, most licenses (beginner licenses excepted) will see a $3 surcharge, bringing the annual amateur license cost to $73 from $70. The entirety of the increase will go toward dramatically increasing testing at the amateur level.

Both Pro and International Elite licenses will see a $50 surcharge, all of which will be directed toward anti-doping efforts.

International elite licenses move from $175 to $200 per year, while international junior licenses drop from $175 to $100, in an effort to encourage junior racing.

For the first time, USA Cycling will make one-day licenses available to non-beginner categories. However, category 1, 2, 3, and 4 riders must purchase the one-day license online, and can only do so once per season.

The cost of a one-day license for beginner road, track, and cyclocross racers drops from $15 to $10.

Insurance costs for promoters increase slightly, to $3.60 per rider per race day in competitive events. A tiered pricing structure will be used for recreational events — $2.25 for the first 1000 entrants, $2.00 for the next 1000, and $1.80 for all remaining. The prices cover USA Cycling’s costs and no more, the document states.

The goals, according to a letter sent by Bouchard-Hall, are to “increase support of grassroots development and amateur racing, minimize barriers to participation and increase anti-doping efforts.” Those goals are tempered, Bouchard-Hall states, by financial realities. The organization is currently operating at a loss.