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UCI president Brian Cookson
Agreement reached to investigate past doping in cycling
The UCI and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will work together on an independent commission to study pro cycling's doping-filled past according to the Associated Press. A formal announcement is expected later on Wednesday, and Lance Armstrong will be invited to participate.
"We will have a commission of inquiry which the UCI will manage and run," UCI president Brian Cookson told the AP. "We will agree on the detailed terms and conditions of that over the next few days, hopefully."
Cookson, who was elected as UCI President in September, spoke of the intended partnership after meeting with WADA President John Fahey at a World Conference on Doping in Sport in South Africa.
"Some people will come forward and give evidence because they simply want to get it off their chest. Others will not want to do that," Cookson said. "So, there has to be some form of incentive and that is one of the things we are working on in the detail with WADA."
There are plenty of details still to be sorted out, such as guidelines for the commission and who will be the commission members. Cookson expects the commission to be set up and to begin work by early 2014.
There is also the issue of what, if any incentives will be offered to those who testify to the commission. For example, will riders like Armstrong be given anything in exchange for their testimony?
Cookson, himself, is especially interested in allegations that Armstrong and UCI officials may have worked together to cover up Armstrong's doping. The American confessed to doping in the last year and lost his seven Tour de France titles following a US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) investigation headed up by Travis Tygart.
"What I am really interested in, I have to say, is the allegations he has apparently made ... about the way in which he was given special treatment by the UCI. If that was true, I'd like to know about it," Cookson said.
Armstrong recently spoke to Cyclingnews in a several part interview.