Posted by Editoress on 04/1/12
The UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) will add compression socks and tights to the list of products whose use is banned by licenced riders, according to an internal report that has been leaked. Compression garments are elastic garments worn around the leg compressing the limb, exerting pressure against the legs reducing the diameter of distended veins causing an increase in venous blood flow velocity and valve effectiveness. Compression therapy helps decrease venous pressure, prevents venous stasis and impairs of venous walls, and relieves heavy and aching legs. Compression wear has also been adopted by the sports science industry. Various garments have been developed to improve the efficiency of muscles by stabilising muscles and improving circulation/ lactic acid removal.
The UCI's Technical Commission decided that the use of the garments confers a performance advantage and that, since they are not specifically related to the bio-mechanical aspects of the sport, they will be banned. This is similar to aerodynamic additions to equipment that perform no physical or structural purpose.
The UCI intends to introduce the regulations after the UCI Congress to be held at the Road World Championships in the Netherlands, in September. Currently, the Technical Commission is defining what constitutes a compression garment, with the expectation that a compression gradient above 15-20 mmHg will be banned.
"Great, now we have to watch out for the Sock Police," commented mountain biker Geoff Kabush, a fan of the product.
UCI Commissaires have already stated that they will not investigate in cases where stinky feet are a concern.
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