- Article published:
- January 29, 2013, 09:38
- Cycling News
Stybar, Van Keirsbulck, Keisse, Terpstra and Velits to form leadout train
The Omega Pharma-Quick Step Cycling Team has named the riders who will head to Qatar later this week for the Tour of Qatar, with Mark Cavendish set to lead the Belgian squad in the absence of Tom Boonen. The six-day race kicks on February 3 with a 145km road stage and ends on February 7.
Boonen is still recovering from a minor operation to resolve a septic infection in his elbow. He has used his fast sprint and skills in riding in the desert winds to win 20 stage in Qatar and the overall classification four times. However the Belgian team will now focus on protecting Mark Cavendish and setting him up for the expected sprint finishes.
Cavendish showed he is on form by winning the opening stage of the Tour de San Luis in Argentina.
Zdenek Stybar will replace Boonen as he continues his transition from cyclo-cross. Also in the team are Iljo Keisse, Niki Terpstra, Matteo Trentin, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, Stijn Vandenbergh and Martin Velits.
"This year Tom Boonen won't be at the start," Sports Director Wilfried Peeters confirmed. "So we will focus our attention on other riders, and of course on Mark Cavendish."
"He knows the parcour and the conditions we will find in Qatar. We will work for him, to give him the best situation for the sprint. But we also have other riders who can do well in Qatar. We will try to win at least one stage, and put at least one rider in the high part of the GC."
"OPQS specializes in these kinds of races in the desert, with a lot of wind. Mark can benefit from the experience of the team on this kind of parcour."
Other sprinters and classics rider in action in Qatar include Baden Cooke (Orica-GreenEdge), Daniele Bennati (Team Saxo-Tinkoff), Russell Downing (NetApp-NetApp) Elia Viviani (Team Cannondale), Andrea Guardini (Astana Pro Team), Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack Leopard), John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano), Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling), Edvald Boasson Hagen and Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) and Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing Team).
- Article published:
- January 29, 2013, 14:45
- Cycling News
Team Sky leader focused and excited about the season ahead
Bradley Wiggins has confirmed that he is ready to attempt the extremely rare and difficult feat of winning the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France in the same season.
The 2012 Tour de France winner has set the Giro d'Italia as his first big goal of 2013 and has promised to ride in support of teammate Chris Froome at the Tour de France. However after talking to Team Sky's Head of Performance Support Tim Kerrison, Wiggins believes he can also be competitive in France in July, making the double a distinct possibility.
Only seven cyclists have won the Tour and the Giro in the same year: Fausto Coppi (1949, 1952), Jacques Anquetil (1964), Eddy Merckx (1970, 1972, 1974), Bernard Hinault (1982, 1985), Stephen Roche (1987), Miguel Indurain (1992, 1993) and Marco Pantani (1998).
Wiggins told Cyclingnews that the double is still possible in modern-day cycling.
"It's an incredibly tough thing to do but Tim (Kerrison) assures me it can be done. I'd love the challenge of trying to do that. I love the Giro. It's a race I've always warmed too," Wiggins said.
"I remember watching it as a kid when [Miguel] Indurain was winning it. I'd love to say I've won the Tour and the Giro. That's the challenge, that's the goal."
"I think there's five weeks in between. There's an element of the unknown but we managed it at the Olympics."
"It's a shame that (Giro d'Italia winner) Ryder (Hesjedal) crashed out at the Tour because they said he was in even better shape than he was at the Giro. If it's ever possible to do it in this day and age, with the way cycling is, then it's more possible than ever."
Wiggins attacked Lance Armstrong after his confession but now seems more at ease with his own life under the media spotlight.
His November training accident acted as a wake up call and he has been training hard in Mallorca since mid-November, focusing on riding his bike, rather than other distractions.
"I've been out here (Mallorca) on and off since mid-November, going up all the same climbs and same roads we've trained on for so many years and then got to win the Tour de France. It’s been nice. That hunger, that desire, that fire's comeback," he said.
"I was initially quite worried after the Olympics, whether that would all be there ever again having achieved what I achieved last year. But it's back in abundance. I've got a new set of goals: the Giro obviously. It's exciting times."
"I've had six months now, to take it all in and comes to terms with it all. I've certainly started to enjoy it more now, with having won the (BBC) Sports Personality of the Year. It's nice. It's what I always dreamed of as a child: winning those races and winning the Olympics in London. It's been good."
- Article published:
- January 29, 2013, 15:26
- Cycling News
Fahey consider's UCI actions "unilateral and arrogant"
World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president John Fahey today provided a strongly-worded reaction to Monday's news that the UCI would disband its Independent Commission and instead establish a truth and reconciliation commission (TRC) later in 2013. UCI president Pat McQuaid cited the refusal of WADA and the US Anti-Doping Agency to cooperate with the investigation unless a TRC was on the table.
"WADA is dismayed by the press release issued by UCI yesterday, both in terms of its content and its deceit," read today's statement from Fahey. "The Independent Commission established by UCI was intended to review the allegations of complicity of UCI in the Lance Armstrong doping conspiracy as raised by USADA in its thorough decision. Instead UCI has again chosen to ignore its responsibility to the sport of cycling in completing such an inquiry and has determined to apparently deflect responsibility for the doping problem in its sport to others.
"It has decided to terminate its own Commission on the grounds that others refuse to participate, and not for any reason that the Commission was precluded from operating transparently and without fear."
Fahey repeated his concerns with the Independent Commission and pointed out that the UCI failed to address WADA's recommendations.
"WADA was not part of the decision to establish such a Commission, it was not even consulted," said Fahey. "When asked to participate, WADA was at pains to point out the inadequacies of the terms of reference and the timelines. The Commission’s lawyers agreed to point those out in order to remedy them. These were not addressed by UCI or the Commission so WADA declined to participate.
"The matters raised by WADA were: The Armstrong case was decided and could not be re-litigated, the timelines for the evidence were not realistic, the process for hearing witnesses and receiving evidence had to be such that no witness feared retribution, the findings of the Commission were to be made public immediately and not subject to any prior scrutiny and editing by UCI."
Fahey is angered by the UCI's refusal to participate in a "continuing professional dialogue" and that WADA's recommendations were "seemingly rejected without any reply".
"WADA has not and will not consider partaking in any venture with UCI while this unilateral and arrogant attitude continues," said Fahey. "There has been no suggestion made by WADA that it will pay for or contribute to any collaborative effort with UCI into investigating UCI’s long-standing problems with doping in its sport and its alleged complicity.
"Presuming the Independent Commission will reconvene on Thursday, as arranged, WADA intends to seek an appearance and table correspondence corroborating the facts stated here."
- Article published:
- January 29, 2013, 17:37
- Laura Weislo
UCI failed to cooperate, says commission
The UCI’s sudden decision to disband the independent commission it created to investigate its anti-doping efforts has come under harsh criticism from the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) CEO Travis Tygart.
The UCI Independent Commission (UCIIC) was founded in response to the publication of USADA’s reasoned decision on its ban of Lance Armstrong - documents which revealed systemic doping issues in the sport that went unchecked for years by its governing body.
The UCI decided to scrap the investigation on Monday, purportedly in favour of a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” (TRC), but Tygart questioned the UCI’s commitment to an independent process.
“As we previously said, the UCI blindfolded and handcuffed its Independent Commission and now hopes the world will look the other way while the UCI attempts to insert itself into the investigation into the role it played in allowing the doping culture to flourish,” Tygart said.
Tygart objected to the concept of the UCI’s involvement in running the TRC.
“We have always fully supported a well-structured truth and reconciliation process in order to clean up the sport and protect the rights of athletes but it is clear that the UCI cannot be allowed to script its own self-interested outcome in this effort.”
USADA and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) refused to take part in the UCIIC until the UCI agreed to include the TRC in the process, among other objections. UCI president Pat McQuaid was reportedly in negotiations with the WADA president John Fahey to establish a TRC, but on Monday announced the UCI would be in charge of creating it.
WADA called the UCI's actions "unilateral and arrogant", and sought to appear before the UCIIC and discuss the matter, but the UCIIC announced today that its January 31 meeting would not occur.
The UCIIC also issued a statement supporting the creation of a TRC, but expressed reservations.
“The Commission remains concerned as to WADA’s and the UCI’s ability to agree the scope, timing and structure of the TRC and also whether the T&R process is sufficiently advanced to justify the UCI’s termination of this Inquiry.”
The statement took the UCI to task for failing to work with the Independent Commission.
“When this Commission was announced, Pat McQuaid stated that the UCI ‘will co-operate fully with the Commission and provide them with whatever they need to conduct their inquiry' and urged 'all other interested stakeholders to do the same’. Neither the UCI nor interested stakeholders have provided sufficient co-operation to enable the Commission to do its job. This failure to cooperate makes our task impossible.”
“The evidence which has been gathered by the Commission will be retained by Macfarlanes for use by the TRC once established.”
- Article published:
- January 29, 2013, 18:48
- Cycling News
Former Katusha manager promises to be a "transparent and independent" President
Andrei Tchmil has confirmed he will stand for President of the European Union of Cycling on March 3, revealing a detailed programme of electoral promises that include a new model of cooperation between the UEC, National Federations and the UCI, projects to increase the prestige of the existing European events and a new approach to sport ethics.
The EUC is a continental confederation and represents 48 different countries and organises European championships. France's David Lappartient is the only other current candidate for the role of President of the European Cycling Union (UEC).
In a long list of proposal and ideas, Tchmil suggests creating a season-long European Challenge Cup trophy to increase the prestige of European races that were not included in the World Tour Calendar and a new 2.2 category Europe Tour stage race in 2015. He also proposes the creation of a European biological ID for young riders, which will operate until a rider becomes part of the UCI biological passport programme. There is no explanation how the system would work or how it would be funded.
Tchmil is expected to work closely with Russian Oligarch Igor Makarov – the head of the Russian Global Cycling project and the Katusha team. Makarov was nominated as the EUC's representative to the UCI in 2011 after his Itera company sponsored he EUC. He now sits on the influential UCI Management Committee.
Tchmil raced a professional between 1989 and 2002, winning Paris-Roubaix in 1994 and Milano-Sanremo in 1999. He was the head of the troubled Katusha team until September 2011. He is a former minister of sport for Moldova and could go on to challenge for the role of President of the UCI, possibly as soon as this September, when elections take place during the Florence world championships.
"Europe is very diverse, and the head of UEC must be familiar with problems and specifics of various European countries. I was born in Eastern Europe, lived most of my life in Western Europe; my track record ranges from a successful professional cyclist, head of the government sport body, to President of a team and a National Federation," Tchmil writes in the document he presented to the second meeting of the Central and Eastern European Initiative for reform of cycling in Europe (CEEI) held on Moldova.
"I understand equally well the problems of both Western and Eastern large and small National Federations. I have relevant experience and I have proved more than once in the past that I am open for dialogue and I am able to create a dedicated strong team. I am elected President of the UEC, I will dedicate 24 hours every day of the week to this work."
Tchmil promises a dynamic and modern re-launch of cycling in Europe, promising for the first time "a candidature that is transparent and independent."
- Article published:
- January 29, 2013, 20:10
- Stephen Farrand
Italian talks about his life after Operacion Puerto
Ivan Basso is scheduled to testify via video at the Operacion Puerto trial on February 11 but the Italian would prefer to put his involvement in the Spanish blood doping ring behind him and focus on his racing.
"I've been called to testify, but for me it's a formality because it was part of my life six or seven years ago," Basso told Cyclingnews in an exclusive interview in Tuscany as he trains for the 2013 season.
"I was banned by the Italian Olympic Committee and was found guilty in an Italian court, so it only brings back bad memories for me."
The Team Cannondale captain initially denied his links to Dr. Fuentes when Operacion Puerto exploded during the final days of his dominant victory at the 2006 Giro d'Italia. Yet he was forced to flee the start of the 2006 Tour de France in Strasbourg by a backdoor when the allegations of blood doping became much stronger.
While still in denial, Basso quit CSC and joined the Discovery Channel team during the winter of 2006. He rode several races but was then formally placed under investigation by the Italian Olympic Committee in April and was given a two-year ban.
Basso made a comeback with the Liquigas team in 2009 and went on to finish fourth in the Vuelta and then won the 2010 Giro d'Italia.
Now 35, Basso is no longer the rider he was while working with Bjarne Riis at his peak. He finished fifth in the 2012 Giro d'Italia and 25th at the Tour de France.
He has published some of his blood data and power metre profiles online, but has always refused to speak in detail about his past as a doper or speak to help make cycling cleaner for the future. True to his hard working and reserved nature, Basso prefers to let his racing do the talking.
"When you've lied so much, people don’t want just words. The wind blows words away, as we say in Italian. People want facts. I've got to produce facts, as I did in 2009 and 2010," Basso told Cyclingnews.
"I won the 2010 Giro d'Italia, finished on the podium in another Giro and was on the podium at the Vuelta. People want facts: my results are my facts, as is the possibility to look at the details: your values, what the anti-doping associations says about you, your biological passport.
"There's no point in me telling fairy tales. People have eyes, heart and a mind to evaluate what they're see."
"I know people were very disappointed with me but then I came back and won the Giro d'Italia again and a few weeks later a magazine published info on my biological passport and said 'This race was won by a clean rider'. I think that's important. I didn’t only say I'd done all the controls, the people were able to see it."
Can people now trust Ivan Basso?
"Yes. 100 per cent," he replied. "I know I can't be considered a saint. That'd be wrong. But I think I've regained my dignity.
"When I came back in 2008, I made some promises and I've kept them. I was also lucky to consolidate them with some important victories and just by being transparent."
Basso claims he has not followed the USADA investigation into Lance Armstrong or the Texan's partial confession. He has little to say on the expected Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
"It's nothing to do with me. I've served my two-year ban. I'm focused on doing a great 2013 and 2014 and maybe even later," he said.
"It's not up to me to take the moral high ground and judge other people. A true leader is followed in silence. It's about 'leading by example', that's my mission now. It's about having the respect of my teammates. I don’t want to think about the past. I want to think about the present and about the future."
- Article published:
- January 29, 2013, 21:20
- Peter Cossins
Doctor at centre of Puerto case admits to treating athletes in other sports besides cycling
Eufemiano Fuentes, the doctor at the centre of the Operacion Puerto investigation, took to the stand as the case entered its second day in a Madrid court today (Tuesday). Fuentes, who is one of five defendants facing charges of crimes against public health, spent three-and-a-half hours testifying. Although he admitted providing riders with blood transfusions, he insisted that these were designed to ensure their good health and were not related to doping activities. He also confirmed that he worked with athletes from several other sports besides cycling.
The day started with a closed-door session during which the judge, Julia Patricia Santamaría, provided the guidelines for questioning. She refused requests from WADA and CONI, the Italian Olympic Committee, to be allowed access to Fuentes’ computer. However, she agreed that evidence from doping whistle blower Jesús Manzano could be heard and ruled that Tyler Hamilton can appear as a witness in the case.
When he took to the stand, Fuentes presented himself as a medical good Samaritan, who was focused on ensuring that the health of the athletes who consulted him was not compromised. “If an athlete had very viscous blood, we used to extract it to reduce the danger to them. And then we used to freeze it,” he said, the “we” referring to himself and haematologist José Luis Merino Batres, against whom charges have been dropped for health reasons. “If the athlete then came back with low haematocrit or with anaemia, we used to be put the blood back into them for health reasons,” he continued.
Pressed on what athletes were looking for when they contacted him, Fuentes responded: “They wanted a medical assessment, to plan out training programmes, because I am coach, as well as physical testing and medical products… in order to safeguard their health. They used to ask for my services on an individual basis.”
Asked about the degree of secrecy surrounding some consultations and treatments with athletes, he replied: “Sometimes blood was taken in hotels close by because the athlete requested privacy and didn’t want to bump into others at Merino Batres’] laboratory.” Quizzed about why the blood bags were marked with a code and an alias, he said: “They are always shorter than a name and a surname.” He again affirmed that blood transfusions were always given to “normalize” natural blood levels.
Fuentes denied carrying out transfusions during races. Asked about annotations in his files that related to the Liberty Seguros team that seemed to suggest treatments were being carried out during races, he said: “A cyclist or coach was asking me for an expert opinion.” He added: “The papers referring to Liberty are a sporting calendar, simply for planning purposes, they are not a medical plan.” He denied being Liberty’s team doctor.
He did reveal that he had worked with three leading pros, giving the names of Roberto Heras, Unai Osa and Santiago Botero, saying he had provided them with training plans or medical assessments. He admitted that he had worked with “footballers, athletes, cyclists, boxers…” However, he denied having any kind of relationship with former Kelme pro Manzano, whose confessions about blood doping and other doping practices in 2004 were the trigger for the Puerto investigation.
When he was asked about the medical products found in his Madrid apartments when they were searched by the Guardia Civil, he insisted that they were for his family’s use. “There was only one box of EPO and that was for my daughter, who had cancer,” he said. Fuentes denied that his sister and fellow defendant Yolanda Fuentes, who is also a doctor, had been involved in the treatments. Asked to explain the fact that when he was arrested he had three mobile phones and eight SIM cards, he stated: “I was really afraid about the press. I never thought about the Guardia Civil.”
Once the state’s prosecuting lawyer had stepped down, the lawyer representing WADA asked a long list of questions relating to Manzano’s confessions in Spanish daily AS in early 2004. Fuentes refused to answer any of the questions.
- Article published:
- January 29, 2013, 23:30
- Cycling News
UCI "acted in spirit of partnership" with agency, says McQuaid
The ongoing dispute between the UCI and the World Anti-Doping Agency over the next steps for the now-disbanded Independent Commission and the to-be-formed Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) came to a head on Tuesday. WADA president John Fahey called the UCI's actions "unilateral and arrogant", while UCI president Pat McQuaid has now responded by releasing a correspondence between Fahey and himself to demonstrate that he acted "in a spirit of partnership".
“I am very saddened that it has come to this, but I cannot allow the latest blatant and aggressive misrepresentations contained in WADA’s most recent press release to go unchallenged," McQuaid stated in a press release. "Mr Fahey is saying one thing in public and quite the opposite in correspondence with me, as the attached communications show."
“The UCI reached out to WADA in a spirit of partnership. This is about doing what is right for cycling. This is not the time for showmanship, or political point scoring.
“The UCI is perplexed that WADA has now chosen to rebuff and attack the UCI’s willingness to establish a TRC, having just demanded that the UCI establish exactly such a commission."
WADA and the USADA refused to take part in the UCIIC, questioning its independence, its scope and its lack of an amnesty program to help convince witnesses to give full disclosure.
The UCI appeared to be amenable to the formation of a TRC, but balked at funding both its IC and the new body. In the letter below, Fahey suggests the UCI mortgage its properties in Aigle, and made it clear WADA would not pay for an investigation into cycling's doping problems.
“The UCI is determined not to dwell on WADA’s inconsistent behaviour. We wish to reaffirm our commitment to establishing the TRC, and hope and expect WADA, NADOs [National Anti-Doping Organisations], National Federations, Tour Organisers and professional teams to engage in that process for the benefit of the sport.”
“I would therefore urge the President of WADA one more time to try to set his personal vendetta and crusade against cycling aside and to support the UCI in doing what is right for cycling. Our aims are the same: to rid cycling and indeed all sports of the scourge of doping.”
From: Howman, David
Sent: samedi 26 janvier 2013 23:25
To: McQuaid Pat - UCI
Cc: John Fahey A.C.
My President has asked me to send the letter below directly to you.
Dear President McQuaid,
I refer to the telephone conversation that we had last night, my time. I record the substance first so that my response is in context.
1. You started the conversation by saying that you were hoping that we might be able to come to some agreement on a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) that might be paid for partly by UCI, partly by WADA and perhaps supported by individual NADOs who might take evidence at their own expense.
2. I told you I was expecting your call because you told me through the media, but that the starting point in any conversation between us was long before the suggestions your lawyer made yesterday in the UCI independent Commission in London.
The starting point was your unilateral statement, when accepting the USADA decision, when you announced this enquiry, without consulting WADA or, to my knowledge, any ADO. I indicated that until you had spoken to David Howman in an effort to reach me two days ago, you have deliberately and resolutely avoided the one body that had the authority and capacity to ensure a proper and effective enquiry could be established and step one was not a TRC.
I pointed out that our conditions had been clearly conveyed through lawyers to the Commission and to UCI, but had been rejected without discussion. Those conditions were as essential now as they were when the solicitors were advised a couple of weeks ago and I proceeded to outline them as follows:
(a). The terms of reference for the inquiry had to be substantially altered to allow it to investigate cycling and its administration over the past 20 years. Any examination of the facts and reasoning contained in the USADA decision was irrelevant, res judicata, and a waste of everybody's time. It was finished, done and dusted and if UCI had any problem with it they should have appealed, instead of trying a back door method.
The rest of the Terms of Reference were Armstrong-centric and there was irrefutable evidence of problems during the Armstrong era from corroborated evidence given by team mates to USADA. You accepted this.
(b). All costs of an enquiry must be met by UCI. WADA would be paying nothing.
In subsequent discussion you canvassed some financial support from the IOC and I told you that was your problem, or rather that of your sport, and in my view you had one last shot at salvaging it. I suggested you might have to consider raising money by way of mortgage on the extensive property in Aigle with some Swiss Bank if necessary. You agreed WADA should not pay.
(c). Only WADA, the world body which has the absolute authority on doping matters could deliver some form of amnesty or amnesty process to underpin a TRC process. You should have approached us first, and not in the deceitful manner your counsel flagged it in London yesterday. I told you that we might be able to arrange such a process with the approval of our Board through circular resolution, before May, if all conditions could be agreed upon. I will do this as we agree that the doping culture in your sport is so embedded it is an exceptional circumstance.
There have been helpful suggestions made by us and USADA as to how a TRC could work. I am not going to repeat those details here. However it must be plain that already-sanctioned athletes will remain sanctioned possibly subject to possible reductions if the information provided leads to substantial assistance.
I told you I was appalled and angered by UCI's statements to the Commission enquiry and just as angry with the suggestion of the Commission that somehow WADA had to try and reach agreement with you on the TRC with UCI. I told you that the inquiry was not WADA's business, but yours.
If our discussion does not result in full acceptance of some way forward with a TRC in the interests of the fight against doping in sport, then I will instruct our counsel to appear on 31 January to tell the Commission we had and have no duty, obligation or responsibility to be involved as an active participant, and point out for the record what we have tried to do, but have been rejected. You told me you fully understood my anger and frustration.
(d). Once the terms of reference are acceptable, the timelines and protocols for the process need to be revised. The time frame must allow a proper enquiry to take evidence, recall witnesses if necessary and reach considered findings. The cost is yours and the scope of the process cannot be minimized for cost reasons only. There are strong principles and issues that must be fully canvassed. You agreed with this despite your concern about money.
(e). All findings of the inquiry must be released publicly and not forwarded to UCI for your consideration first. You will recall that you had the Vrijman Report in your possession for more than 6 weeks before it was made public.You have agreed to the public release.
These five matters were stated through lawyers weeks ago. There is now one other condition. Your present so-called independent Commission might not be able to continue under new terms and procedures.
There are concerns as to the flaws, that have already been pointed out, in the way this Commission has been established and set (or was given) its terms. The major issue is the real question of independence, both real and perceived. This panel may have set its terms, but did not have the independence to change them when its own lawyers advised it to do so. I think it is already too compromised to remain credible and believe the process should start over from a new beginning. I appreciate that this may involve some extra expense, but the existing Commission can be requested to provide any information in its possession to the new Commission.
We discussed other matters which I expect you to address shortly, including the apologies that you partially made orally but should be in writing. I mention the letter of December 14 which I personally sent you, and which should have a written reply.
Now I await your response to this note, and trust it will not be through lawyers. It obviously needs to be urgent so I expect a reply overnight.
From: McQuaid Pat - UCI
Sent: lundi 28 janvier 2013 22:34
To: 'Howman, David'
Cc: John Fahey A.C.; John Fahey A.C.
Subject: RE: UCI
Thank you for your letter.
As we discussed, the UCI has now 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.
In addition, in light of WADA and USADA's refusal to cooperate with the Independent Commission, you will have read that the UCI has now taken the decision to disband it with immediate effect. We do this with regret, but given the stance of WADA and USADA we did not see any other option.
I am happy to hear of WADA's willingness to help the UCI in this TRC and we look forward to cooperating with WADA to do so. However, as one of your major stakeholders, we believe that this work should be carried out in partnership, not in a spirit of confrontation.
I will not answer each and every point in your letter. Our differing opinions of who said or did what and when are unlikely to be reconciled and rehashing this all again is not helpful. We should simply agree to differ on the past and move forward in a spirit of cooperation.
There is still a huge amount to discuss before we can finalise a detailed legal framework for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which is a process that is completely unprecedented in sport. In particular there is the issue of assessing the cost of and indeed how such a lengthy and expensive process should be funded. This is something that I will discuss with my colleagues at the management committee meeting on Friday.
However, I should stress that, while I am committed to a TRC, it absolutely needs to be a process which is in the best interests of cycling and our federation - and also a process which does not bankrupt it. To that point, your suggestion that the UCI should mortgage its headquarters in Aigle is somewhat facetious and unhelpful.
While I appreciate that I had indicated that we would get our first thoughts to you by early this week, this is simply too important for rushed discussions, or hasty decisions. I feel it is therefore completely unrealistic to expect that we can sort through all the details of setting up this Commission in just a couple of days, based on a deadline that the now disbanded Independent Commission set for this coming Thursday.
I would therefore suggest that our respective legal departments sit down and pull together a first draft of the legal framework, which we can then discuss properly to ensure its eventual success.
I look forward to working together to rid our sport - and indeed all other sports - of the scourge of doping, an ambition that we both genuinely share.
International Cycling Union
CH - 1860 Aigle
- Pat McQuaid