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UCI President Pat McQuaid at the UCI headquarters in Aigle
Management Committee proposes governance task forces
The UCI has made a further announcement about the future structure and governance of cycling after day two of its Management Committee meeting in Bergen, Norway, revealing that two internal task forces have been suggested to review and formalize UCI strategy and structure, while major reforms to professional cycling look set to be implemented in 2015.
On Thursday, the UCI Management Committee accepted recommendations made during the Stakeholders Consultation process. On Friday, the UCI issued another long press release, giving some information but little detail, on how it intends to act in the face of severe and continuous criticism of president Pat McQuaid and the governance of the sport following the long series of doping scandals.
The press release revealed that consultancy firm KPMG had carried out "pre-analysis study on governance' in parallel to the Stakeholders" consultation.
According to the UCI press release, "The report proposed the creation of two ‘task forces’ comprising members of the Management Committee, supported by UCI executives, an initiative supported by the Management Committee."
"The first task force will review and formalize the UCI’s vision and strategy; the second make proposals for the UCI’s governance structure, as well as rules to put in place to implement and control the strategy."
The Management Committee also instructed the UCI administration to "deepen its transparency" and provide a “dashboard” for the committee going forward.
Professional cycling to change significantly in 2015
In what appears to be a move to weaken the threats from the teams and race organisers involved in the World Series Cycling "breakaway" project, the UCI Management Committee also acknowledged the proposals for the strategic direction of reforms to professional cycling and approved that the work should continue.
The UCI Management Committee claimed the five strategic proposals came after consulting all the stakeholders involved but gave little concrete information on how professional cycling will look in 18 months' time.
The UCI press release listed "five strategic directions" that are to be developed by the UCI's Professional Cycling Council:
• A reduction in the number of races at the top level to rationalize the calendar in terms of logistics and competition days – as well as to try to group races by race type, geography and climate.
• Opportunities to develop new events in new regions, or to fill potential gaps in the calendar.
• Revision of the team selection process to create a competitive UCI WorldTour with simpler rules for fans. At the same time, the aim would be to create a more robust structure for teams that fail to qualify.
• Professionalize the team structures to ensure clean and viable teams, fulfilling objective ethical criteria and with appropriate supervision of riders.
• Segment the UCI WorldTour calendar into just two or three levels, with increased homogeneity between circuits and top level riders competing in the top races.
Measuring the doping risk in a team
The UCI Management Committee was also presented with the preliminary findings of a new study, commissioned by the UCI, which analyzed professional teams and developed a framework for a doping prevention policy.
The study was carried out by the Institute of Sports Sciences of the University of Lausanne (ISSUL), in cooperation with UCI and professional teams. It built an analytical model of the organization and culture within a professional cycling team to measure the doping risk within a team, or for individual riders. It also proposed a new professionalized team structure which would influence a rider’s "ecosystem" within professional cycling.
The press release gave no other details were given on this work.