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Dutch federation appeals to UCI for truth commission

By:
Cycling News
Published:
October 25, 2012, 20:00,
Updated:
October 25, 2012, 20:56
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Friday, October 26, 2012
The Rabobank team will be expected to make the podium on home soil

The Rabobank team will be expected to make the podium on home soil

  • The Rabobank team will be expected to make the podium on home soil
  • The Dutch fans were out in full force

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Wintels worried that doping culture has not changed

The president of the Royal Dutch Cycling Federation (KNWU), Marcel J.G. Wintels, has made an appeal to UCI president Pat McQuaid ahead of the governing body's management committee meeting on Friday, calling for an "authoritative, independent, international truth and inquiry committee" to examine the sport's anti-doping efforts.

The AIGCP, or teams association earlier this week made a similar request.

In a three-page letter, Wintels says the sport is in "the deepest crisis ever", and that it has been made clear by the US Anti-Doping Agency's dossier on Lance Armstrong and the US Postal Service team that doping was not only common and hardly detectable in that era, but that many people in the sport knew and accepted this behavior as normal.

He links Rabobank's decision to pull its sponsorship out of professional cycling directly to its lack of confidence in the UCI and pleads with the governing body to use this crisis to relieve the sport of a culture where "the lie reigns".

"The key question for us, the KNWU, is to what extent we really can legitimately say that - in the year 2012 - there now no longer exists or can be spoken of a culture that tolerates, seduces or even encourages systematic doping. We are not reassured. On the contrary, we are very worried.

"Rabobank resigning their sponsorship, and in particular the reason why they stopped, is painful and significant. We can not sufficiently answer the question whether or not the doping culture has become widely accepted in professional cycling in the recent years."

Wintel and his organisation request that the UCI launch an independent investigation and "let this committee bring out all the facts and findings ('truth') from 2007 till the present, exposing the system, its culture and how the system operates, show what progress has already been made, and also where the systems fails".

Secondly, he asks that the committee be given "the task to make recommendations or take measures which can faster contribute to the professional cycling sport becoming cleaner and where the principle of fair play prevails".

He also requests a discussion to make changes to the anti-doping code for the WorldTour to enhance the anti-doping efforts. Those ideas include giving four year instead of two year suspensions and greater financial penalties or point deductions, penalties for teams, disallowing any WorldTour team from hiring staff with links to past doping practices, accreditation for team physicians plus separation of the UCI from anti-doping responsibilities due to the conflict of interest.

"More than ever, the UCI must dare to act forcefully," Wintels wrote, appealing to the management committee to start with an independent truth and inquiry committee.

"If the UCI fails to do so, we as KNWU ... are considering the possibility to create such a truth or inquiry committee (with the greatest international assignment or scope as possible) because we believe this is necessary."