Bjarne Riis and Alexandre Vinokourov are perhaps the most striking names among the 174 people who were interviewed by the Cycling Independent Reform Commission over the course of its year of inquiry, with 134 of those witnesses agreeing to be named in an annex included at the end of the report, which was published on Monday.
Riis and Vinokourov’s interviews are particularly noteworthy given that in an interview on the final day of last year’s Tour de France, UCI President Brian Cookson had called on each man to give evidence.
Speaking to Cyclingnews in October, however, Vinokourov gave the impression that he had no intention of cooperating with CIRC – “To talk about what? My past?” he said – but it appears that the ongoing ruminations over Astana’s WorldTour licence prompted a change of heart.
Some of the names of other interviewees were already in the public domain. Lance Armstrong testified for seven hours in a meeting on May 22. Riccardo Riccò confirmed to Cyclingnews in December that he had spoken to CIRC without receiving a reduction to his ban, while Chris Froome, Jonathan Vaughters and former UCI President Pat McQuaid had also already stated that they provided evidence to CIRC.
It had also been reported in the Italian press that Francesco Reda and Mauro Santambrogio provided testimony to CIRC and received reductions to their doping sanctions, though neither is listed in the annex.
The CIRC report makes a point of admonishing Russian Cycling Federation president Igor Makarov for refusing to be interviewed despite repeated entreaties. Makarov’s Itera company sponsors the European, African and Pan-American cycling confederations and he was a supporter of Cookson’s presidential campaign.
“It is disappointing and unexplainable that Igor Makarov did not agree to meet with the CIRC despite repeated invitations. However, he sent four representatives for two separate meetings. Whilst this was of assistance to the CIRC, it finds it unacceptable that Igor Makarov chose not to meet with the Commission,” the report states.
Emile Vrijman, who was appointed by the UCI in 2005 to compile a report on allegations that Armstrong had used EPO during the 1999 Tour de France, also did not respond to CIRC’s invitation.
On the other hand, Cyclingnews understands that Floyd Landis volunteered to speak to CIRC but, for reasons unknown, the three-man commission of Dr. Dick Marty, Peter Nicholson and Prof. Ulrich Haas declined his offer and did not interview him.
15% of those interviewed by CIRC are listed in the category riders/former riders, though it should be noted that other ex-professionals, such as Vaughters and Bobby Julich, are grouped under the heading of team personnel.
Sixteen of those riders assented to having their names published in the annex: Lance Armstrong, Carlos Barredo, Michael Boogerd, Nicole Cooke, Chris Froome, Tyler Hamilton, Jörg Jaksche, Scott Mercier, Joe Papp, Leonardo Piepoli, Michael Rasmussen, Riccardo Riccò, Dan Stevens, Andrei Tchmil, Tammy Thomas and Dietrich Thurau.
Armstrong is the rider named most frequently in the body of the report, as CIRC examined allegations that the UCI had helped to cover up his doping or provide him with preferential treatment at the 1999 Tour de France, 2001 Tour de Suisse and 2009 Tour Down Under.
The most revealing line on the level of engagement by riders with CIRC comes early in the report and highlights that this was by no means the so-called “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” hoped for by many in the wake of the USADA Reasoned Decision of 2012.
“No rider came forward to voluntarily admit an anti-doping rule violation,” the report states on page 17. “Only sanctioned riders volunteered to provide the CIRC with information with the purpose of obtaining a reduced sanction, and these cases were dealt with according to the Terms of Reference.”
The peloton, it seems, is largely a self-preservation society.
11% of those interviewed are categorised as team personnel, with only 15 agreeing to be listed in the annex. As well as the aforementioned Vinokourov, Riis, Vaughters and Julich, only four others currently working in the professional peloton allowed their names to be published: Trek Factory Racing directeur sportif Alain Gallopin, Giant-Shimano manager Iwan Speckenbrink, BMC team doctor Roger Palfreeman and Cannondale-Garmin doctor Prentice Steffen.
Former Astana manager Marc Biver, former Cofidis manager Eric Boyer, former Highroad manager Bob Stapleton, Cervélo TestTeam founder Gerard Vroomen and former Festina manager Bruno Roussel also spoke to the commission. Former US Postal team doctor Pedro Celaya, who was banned for eight years by USADA, provided testimony, as did former Festina coach Antoine Vayer.
The principal remit of the CIRC inquiry was to investigate allegations of impropriety at the UCI and make recommendations for the future governance of the sport, and as such it is little surprise that wholly a quarter of those interviewed by CIRC are described as “UCI-affiliated” individuals.
29 of them waived anonymity, including past presidents Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen and current president Brian Cookson. Past and present members of the UCI’s anti-doping operations, Anne Gripper, Francesca Rossi and Mario Zorzoli also provided evidence, as did Philippe Verbiest, the Belgian lawyer who was the UCI’s legal consultant from the Hein Verbruggen era all the way through to 2013.
Other UCI figures interviewed include Philippe Chevalier, the former rider who is director of the UCI’s sport and technical department; Sylvia Schenk, who opposed McQuaid’s election in 2005; Martin Bruin, who was chief commissaire at the 1998 Tour; and Martin Gibbs, who became director-general of the UCI on Cookson’s election in 2013.
The second largest groups to speak to CIRC were members of national federations and anti-doping organisations, each accounting for 15% apiece of those who were interviewed. 25 members of anti-doping organisations agreed to be named, including Travis Tygart and Bill Bock of USADA, WADA director general David Howman and his predecessor Dick Pound, and former AFLD head Pierre Bordry and his successor Jean-Pierre Verdy, and Movement for Credible Cycling president Roger Legeay.
Two representatives from USA Cycling are named in the annex – current board chairman Bob Stapleton and former technical director Shawn Farrell. Past and present representatives of the French, Danish, Russian, Canadian, Italian, Swiss, Australian and Dutch federations are also listed.
Third-party doctors and scientists interviewed include Sandro Donati, who identified and denounced doping practices in Italian sport from the mid-1980s; Rasmus Damsgaard, who ran internal testing programmes at CSC and Astana; and Martial Saugy, who was director of the Swiss laboratory that tested Armstrong’s suspect samples from the 2001 Tour de Suisse.
Only two event organisers appear to have provided testimony to CIRC: former Giro d’Italia director Angelo Zomegnan and Patrice Clerc, the former president of ASO who was removed from his position in December 2008, shortly after Armstrong announced his return to cycling.
Two sponsors are named in the annex as having testified – Cofidis head François Migraine and Robert Tansey, who was instrumental in Sky’s backing of both British Cycling and the WorldTour team – as well as five journalists, including Damien Ressiot of L’Équipe, who in 2005 broke the news that re-testing of Armstrong’s stored samples from the 1999 Tour showed that he had used EPO.
A total of 174 people were interviewed by CIRC, 25% of whom are UCI-affiliated individuals. The breakdown of the remainder is as follows: Team personnel (11%), International/national federations (15%), Third party doctors/scientists/laboratory personnel (10%), Event organisers (2%), Sponsors (2%), Riders/former riders (15%), Anti-doping organisations (15%), Journalists (3%), National law enforcement agencies (2%).
CIRC interviewees who agreed to be named:
I. UCI affiliated individuals
1. Lucien Bailly
2. Olivier Banuls
3. Martin Bruin
4. Alain Calvez
5. Philippe Chevallier
6. Brian Cookson
7. Enrico Della Casa
8. Arlette Dumas
9. Simon Geinoz
10. Martin Gibbs
11. Anne Gripper
12. Amina Lanaya
13. Richard Leggat
14. Dominique Leroux
15. Anne-Laure Masson
16. Pat McQuaid
17. Roxane Rochat
18. Francesca Rossi
19. Dieter Schellenberg
20. Sylvia Schenk
21. Claude Schnegg
22. Paul Scholten
23. Jean-Pierre Strebel
24. Caroline Thom
25. Jorge Vazquez Monroy
26. Philippe Verbiest
27. Hein Verbruggen
28. Pierre Zappelli
29. Mario Zorzoli
1. François Migraine
2. Robert Tansey
III. Team personnel
1. Marc Biver
2. Eric Boyer
3. Pedro Celaya
4. Alain Gallopin
5. Bobby Julich
6. Roger Palfreeman
7. Bjarne Riis
8. Bruno Roussel
9. Iwan Speckenbrink
10. Bob Stapleton
11. Prentice Steffen
12. Antoine Vayer
13. Jonathan Vaughters
14. Alexander Vinokourov
15. Gerard Vroomen
IV. Riders/former riders
1. Lance Armstrong
2. Carlos Barredo
3. Michael Boogerd
4. Nicole Cooke
5. Chris Froome
6. Tyler Hamilton
7. Jörg Jaksche
8. Scott Mercier
9. Joe Papp
10. Leonardo Piepoli
11. Michael Rasmussen
12. Riccardo Riccò
13. Dan Stevens
14. Andrei Tchmil
15. Tammy Thomas
16. Dietrich Thurau
V. International/national federations
1. Susan Ahern (IRB)
2. Daniel Baal (former French Cycling Federation)
3. Sally Clark (ICC)
4. Shawn Farrell (USA Cycling)
5. David Gullberg (Danish Cycling Union)
6. David Lappartient (French Cycling Federation)
7. Victoria Lesnikova (Russian Cycling Federation)
8. Sarah Lewis (FIS)
9. Greg Mathieu (Cycling Canada)
10. Stuart Miller (ITF)
11. Paolo Pavoni (Italian Cycling Federation)
12. Thomas Peter (Swiss Cycling)
13. Markus Pfisterer (Swiss Cycling)
14. Jean Pitallier (former French Cycling Federation)
15. Huw Roberts (IAAF)
16. Renato Di Rocco (Italian Cycling Federation)
17. Gianluca Santilli (Italian Cycling Federation)
18. Malcolm Speed (Australian Cycling Federation)
19. Bob Stapleton (USA Cycling)
20. Kevin Tabotta (Australian Cycling Federation)
21. Melinda Tarant (Australian Cycling Federation)
22. Thorward Veneberg (KNWU)
23. Margo de Vries (KNWU)
VI. Anti-doping organisations
1. Rune Andersen (Anti-Doping Norway)
2. Enrique Bastida Gomez (AEPSAD-Spain)
3. Bill Bock (USADA)
4. Pierre Bordry (former AFLD)
5. Anne Cappelen (Anti-Doping Norway)
6. Christina Friis Johansen (Anti-Doping Denmark)
7. Fahmy Galant (SAIDS)
8. Andrea Gotzmann (NADA Germany)
9. Lone Hansen (Anti-Doping Denmark)
10. David Howman (WADA)
11. Matthias Kamber (Anti-doping Switzerland)
12. Roger Legeay (MPCC)
13. Lars Mortsiefer (NADA Germany)
14. Pat Myhill (UKAD)
15. Oliver Niggli (WADA)
16. Dick Pound (WADA)
17. Olivier Rabin (WADA)
18. Herman Ram (Dopingautoriteit)
19. Regina Reiser (NADA Germany)
20. Jack Robertson (WADA)
21. Anders Solheim (Anti-Doping Norway)
22. Marco Steiner (Anti-doping Switzerland)
23. Gry Støtvig (Anti-Doping Norway)
24. Travis Tygart (USADA)
25. Jean-Pierre Verdy (AFLD)
VII. Third party doctors/scientists/laboratory personnel
1. Michel Audran
2. Christine Ayotte
3. Simon Chadwick
4. David Cowan
5. Rasmus Damsgaard
6. Charles Dauwe
7. Alessandro Donati
8. Hans Geyer
9. Nelson Khoo
10. Christer Malm
11. Patrice Mangin
12. Yannis Pitsiladis
13. Martial Saugy
14. Wilhelm Schänzer
15. Olaf Schumacher
16. Mario Thevis
1. Stéphane Mandard
2. Mark Misérus
3. Damien Ressiot
4. Hans Vandeweghe
5. David Walsh
IX. Event organisers
1. Patrice Clerc
2. Angelo Zomegnan
X. National law enforcement agencies/national governments
1. Rafael Blanco
2. Renzo Ferrante