Hong Kong sports officials have been asked to help lift the profile of indoor cycling in Asia after the development of the sport in the region was considered 'too slow'. Only four countries - hosts Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and Macau - will take part in tomorrow's Asian Indoor Cycling Championships at the Sheung Wan Complex Indoor Games Hall. Hans Born, the International Cycling Union's (UCI) secretary of indoor cycling commission, said attempts should be made to attract more countries. 'Indoor cycling was introduced to Asia two decades ago. I wish the development could be faster,' said Born. 'Indoor cycling, especially artistic cycling, is suitable for Asians. Asians are smaller so they can move better on a bicycle. Therefore, more focus should be put on it. 'However, life in Asia is very busy. People work very hard and do not have much time to train. 'That's the main reason behind the slow development of the sport here. 'I hope the national associations in Asia can work together to promote the sport and I hope there will be more countries competing at the next Asian Championships, which will be held in 2000. There should be at least seven teams, and hopefully Pakistan, China and the Philippines will participate next time.' More than 30 riders from the four countries will compete this weekend in seven events, including artistic cycling and cycle-ball. Meanwhile, the UCI has outlined a broad campaign to rid the sport of the scourge of doping following the scandals which plagued the Tour de France last month. The statement, issued by cycling's governing body, riders, team chiefs and race organisers following a week of meetings in Paris and Lausanne, made wide-sweeping recommendations, including an increase in medical tests and limits to the number of days a rider can race. In a lengthy press release, the UCI said that, starting on January 1, it would increase medical follow-ups to try and limit the abuse of non-detectable substances, primarily erythropoietin (EPO). The regular checkups would help determine, for each rider, his natural level of oxygen-rich red blood cells, which can be stimulated by the use of EPO and for which there is no test. The UCI said it would take personal responsibility for determining the natural level of red blood cells for a racing cyclist in collaboration with laboratories in Cologne and Lausanne. Next season, the UCI will also require each team to have a licensed medical doctor, who will be responsible for racers' health and for maintaining the rules. A group of six doctors has already been established to discuss and study the problems that surfaced during the drug-marred Tour de France. It was also confirmed that the UCI will initiate a study to determine if the physical requirements of the sport are so demanding that they might lead riders to take drugs just to survive the season.