By Hedwig Kröner
The UCI Ethics Commission met for the very first time in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Friday, August 19. The meeting was convened after UCI Management Committee member and former German national federation president Sylvia Schenk filed several complaints regarding the payments of UCI president-elect Pat McQuaid in March and June 2005, and UCI president Hein Verbruggen complained against her in return. (Also see: interview with Sylvia Schenk and interview with Pat McQuaid).
Ethics Commission president Pieter Zevenbergen had been rejected by Sylvia Schenk as biased already before the meeting of the UCI Ethics Commission, because he is involved in the case as member of the UCI Management Committee. "For my part, I'm now waiting for the outcome of the IOC Ethics Commission investigation of the case," Schenk told Cyclingnews.
The German lawyer had filed her complaints with the UCI Ethics Commission in March 2005 and another one on June 27. "But then, as nothing happened, I also filed with the IOC Ethics Commission on July 18," she said. "So I did everything I could to solve the problems within the UCI and not in public."
The UCI Ethics Commission was brought to life after the UCI proclaimed its Code of Ethics in June 2004, but this was its first meeting. In autumn of last year, American Lisa Voight was agreed to become a member of the Commission. German lawyer Peter Barth joined the Commission in June 2005.
Schenk, who also has doubts about the ProTour's conformity with European Union competition laws, is determined to continue her quest for what she says is questionable legal conformity of the UCI electoral proceedings, even beyond the UCI Congress' vote for presidency at the World Championships in Madrid on September 23, 2005.
"If my other complaint with the UCI Appeals Board [on whether McQuaid is legally eligible for presidency - ed.] is rejected I might appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). There is also another complaint against the Asian Confederation's changing of its voting delegates from Darshan Singh to the Appeals Board and this as well may go afterwards to the CAS or to a Swiss Court. So if no solution is found before the Congress of the UCI there will be doubts about the legality of the whole Congress," Schenk concluded.