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UCI President Pat McQuaid at the UCI headquarters in Aigle
McQuaid says the body is listening
The UCI Management Committee, currently meeting in Norway has accepted the 'crucial' and 'high-priority' recommendations made as part of the Stakeholders Consultation that took place earlier this year.
Over 6,300 people responded to the UCI's request for feedback as part of its Stakeholders Consultation, A Bright Future for Cycling.
The recommendations are:
• We must restore the credibility of cycling and the public perception of the sport;
• A decision needs to be made quickly whether to hold an independent inquiry into the Armstrong affair and whether to offer riders an 'amnesty' or reduced sanctions for coming forward to that enquiry;
• The UCI needs to develop a long-term strategic plan for cycling;
• We should further strengthen the anti-doping culture that already exists in the UCI;
• We need to improve our relationship with WADA; and
• We need to restructure the pro-cycling calendar.
• To increase the independence of the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF);
• To appoint an independent anti-doping body to sanction professional riders caught doping;
• To review the existing points system for pro-teams;
• To focus on developing women's cycling;
• To improve our communication with professional road riders.
It was also deemed that that UCI should continue down the path of establishing an independent review into the Armstrong era, and in doing so persist in talks with the World Anti-Doping Agency. In late January, the UCI disbanded its Independent Commission in favour of a "truth and reconciliation commission" (TRC) – something that both WADA and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) had pushed for.
Speaking with Cyclingnews in February, WADA President John Fahey told Cyclingnews that he was optimistic regarding the UCI's capabilities of cleaning up the sport in the wake of USADA's Reasoned Decision.
"They're capable of doing it but they need to open their eyes to how it could be done," he explained. "It has to be done away from the current leadership and current management for integrity and transparency to be brought back into the sport. Somebody has to look at what's going on from the outside, not be dictated to from the inside. When they recognise that, that's how they can succeed in restoring the faith of their constituent members and the sport's millions of fans."
Following the opening day of the Management Committee meeting, McQuaid said he was happy that the 11 recommendations had been accepted in principle.
"The UCI is committed to listening to its stakeholders – the people we serve – and responding to what they tell us," he said.
"As I said when the report was first published, a number of the recommendations are already underway. In addition to the discussions with WADA around holding an independent audit, we are also in the process of developing a long-term strategic plan for cycling."