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UCI Independent Commission “blindfolded and handcuffed”, says USADA

Laura Weislo
January 29, 2013, 17:37,
January 29, 2013, 17:32
First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, January 30, 2013
USADA chief Travis Tygart (R) shakes hands with Senator Arlen Specter at a 2009 hearing in Washington, DC about screening dietary supplements for illegal steroids.

USADA chief Travis Tygart (R) shakes hands with Senator Arlen Specter at a 2009 hearing in Washington, DC about screening dietary supplements for...

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UCI failed to cooperate, says commission

The UCI’s sudden decision to disband the independent commission it created to investigate its anti-doping efforts has come under harsh criticism from the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) CEO Travis Tygart.

The UCI Independent Commission (UCIIC) was founded in response to the publication of USADA’s reasoned decision on its ban of Lance Armstrong - documents which revealed systemic doping issues in the sport that went unchecked for years by its governing body.

The UCI decided to scrap the investigation on Monday, purportedly in favour of a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” (TRC), but Tygart questioned the UCI’s commitment to an independent process.

“As we previously said, the UCI blindfolded and handcuffed its Independent Commission and now hopes the world will look the other way while the UCI attempts to insert itself into the investigation into the role it played in allowing the doping culture to flourish,” Tygart said.

Tygart objected to the concept of the UCI’s involvement in running the TRC.

“We have always fully supported a well-structured truth and reconciliation process in order to clean up the sport and protect the rights of athletes but it is clear that the UCI cannot be allowed to script its own self-interested outcome in this effort.”

USADA and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) refused to take part in the UCIIC until the UCI agreed to include the TRC in the process, among other objections. UCI president Pat McQuaid was reportedly in negotiations with the WADA president John Fahey to establish a TRC, but on Monday announced the UCI would be in charge of creating it.

WADA called the UCI's actions "unilateral and arrogant", and sought to appear before the UCIIC and discuss the matter, but the UCIIC announced today that its January 31 meeting would not occur.

The UCIIC also issued a statement supporting the creation of a TRC, but expressed reservations.

“The Commission remains concerned as to WADA’s and the UCI’s ability to agree the scope, timing and structure of the TRC and also whether the T&R process is sufficiently advanced to justify the UCI’s termination of this Inquiry.”

The statement took the UCI to task for failing to work with the Independent Commission.

“When this Commission was announced, Pat McQuaid stated that the UCI ‘will co-operate fully with the Commission and provide them with whatever they need to conduct their inquiry' and urged 'all other interested stakeholders to do the same’. Neither the UCI nor interested stakeholders have provided sufficient co-operation to enable the Commission to do its job. This failure to cooperate makes our task impossible.”

“The evidence which has been gathered by the Commission will be retained by Macfarlanes for use by the TRC once established.”

rupeni More than 1 year ago
The UCI is a completely corrupt organisation. Pro teams with the owners of the main races need to breakaway and form a new governing body with zero tolerance to doping.
DavePat More than 1 year ago
This just has to be the final straw. The UCI has absolutely no credibility whatsoever. Zilch
kom_n91 More than 1 year ago
Quesiton:(playing Devils advocate ) Why do we care if the cyclist are doping but NOT American football? Maybe we should adopt Nancy's Reagan campaign of "Just Say No". or Nike's slogan "Just do it". to drugs. The UCI, WADA are in a tough position and have their work cut-out for them. The USADA needs the power to investage all US sport programs.
Alpe73 More than 1 year ago
USADA will never get or aspire to that power. As is the nature of power, MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL are just too rich and 'powerful'. So we can say ..... this is very sad ... or we can say, 'maybe this is as good as it gets." We can say both.
Filho2940 More than 1 year ago
UCI has lost it's last grain of credibility, but who is going to stop them ? In the mean time they had all the time in the world to go in their archives and destroy all documents that could be relevant ... The IOC can maybe have some influence, if they can get rid of Verbruggen. But cycling being banned from the Olympics isn't a solution either.
Psalmon More than 1 year ago
It may not be popular, but Tygart should cut a deal of conditional immunity (found lying later - jail) with Lance to tell all. Have Lance rat out the UCI and get his ban reduced to a couple years. Who cares about LA anymore? The UCI is the problem now and threat to cycling's future. Plus I like Lance in the role of Rat. Compensate SCA and other creditors with the movie and book rights. Make it rain truth Travis!
barefeet More than 1 year ago
Since USADA and WADA don't trust the UCI with a Truth and Reconciliation, why dont WADA and USADA set it up themselves? why not? They are the ones who are calling for it? why dont they pay for it.? you calling for things and you do not want to contribute or pay. Without Doping in sport WADA and USADA would not exist. Since they went after Armstrong and got him, maybe they should go after the UCI then. Why can't we move forward, what is the benefit it is to cycling to go 20 years back to investigate what we already know, that there was doping? the only benefit is to WADA to highlight doping to make themselves ever more relevant and important.