/ Cycling

UCI disbands independent commission after WADA talks

Updated: Monday, 28 Jan 2013 22:24 | Comments

Pat McQuaid
Pat McQuaid

The International Cycling Union (UCI) has disbanded its own independent commission set up to investigate any alleged involvement the UCI may have had in the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

The commission was established to look into the allegations made against cycling's world governing body by the United States Anti-Doping Agency's (USADA) investigation into Armstrong, which shone a light on a decade of drug use in the sport.

However, both the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and USADA said they would take no part in the commission with the inquiry and that, according to the UCI, would have led to any report being dismissed as "not being complete or credible".

UCI President Pat McQuaid said: "We have listened carefully to the views of WADA, USADA and cycling stakeholders and have decided that a truth and reconciliation process is the best way to examine the culture of doping in cycling in the past and to clear the air so that cycling can move forward."

"We will now focus our efforts on establishing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), with which we expect WADA to be fully engaged" - Pat McQuaid

McQuaid continued: "Given this development, the UCI Management Committee today decided that the federation could no longer fund a procedure whose outcome is likely to be rejected by such an important stakeholder. We have therefore decided to disband the Independent Commission with immediate effect."

WADA president John Fahey expressed his concern with the commission earlier this month.

"After careful review of the terms of reference and the commission's proposed work programme, WADA reached the conclusion that the UCI was not allowing the commission to conduct a proper and independent investigation," he said in a statement.

"Therefore, WADA has decided not to take part and invest its limited resources into such a questionable and useless exercise.

On Friday the UCI announced its intention to hold a distinct Truth and Reconciliation Commission with WADA to look at doping in professional cycling and today's decision means "it is expected that the TRC process will launch later this year".

McQuaid added: "We will now focus our efforts on establishing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), with which we expect WADA to be fully engaged, to look at doping in professional cycling, as well as the allegations contained in the USADA reasoned decision.

"The work that has so far been undertaken by the Independent Commission will be shared with the TRC.

"This is too important for rushed discussions, or hasty decisions.

"It is completely unrealistic to expect that we and WADA can sort through all the details of setting up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in just a couple of days, based on an arbitrary deadline set by the Independent Commission of Thursday.

"There is still a huge amount to discuss before we can finalise a detailed legal framework, including how such a TRC, which is completely unprecedented in sport, should be funded now that WADA contrary to earlier indications refuses to contribute financially.

"This is something that will be discussed fully at the management committee meeting on Friday. I would stress that, while I am committed to a TRC, it needs to be a process which is in the best interests of our sport and our federation - and which also does not bankrupt it."

"I hope the lessons learned from the truth and reconciliation process will help in particular to educate young riders and to help eradicate doping in its entirety from cycling."

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