World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president John Fahey today provided a strongly-worded reaction to Monday's news that the UCI would disband its Independent Commission and instead establish a truth and reconciliation commission (TRC) later in 2013. UCI president Pat McQuaid cited the refusal of WADA and the US Anti-Doping Agency to cooperate with the investigation unless a TRC was on the table.
"WADA is dismayed by the press release issued by UCI yesterday, both in terms of its content and its deceit," read today's statement from Fahey. "The Independent Commission established by UCI was intended to review the allegations of complicity of UCI in the Lance Armstrong doping conspiracy as raised by USADA in its thorough decision. Instead UCI has again chosen to ignore its responsibility to the sport of cycling in completing such an inquiry and has determined to apparently deflect responsibility for the doping problem in its sport to others.
"It has decided to terminate its own Commission on the grounds that others refuse to participate, and not for any reason that the Commission was precluded from operating transparently and without fear."
Fahey repeated his concerns with the Independent Commission and pointed out that the UCI failed to address WADA's recommendations.
"WADA was not part of the decision to establish such a Commission, it was not even consulted," said Fahey. "When asked to participate, WADA was at pains to point out the inadequacies of the terms of reference and the timelines. The Commission’s lawyers agreed to point those out in order to remedy them. These were not addressed by UCI or the Commission so WADA declined to participate.
"The matters raised by WADA were: The Armstrong case was decided and could not be re-litigated, the timelines for the evidence were not realistic, the process for hearing witnesses and receiving evidence had to be such that no witness feared retribution, the findings of the Commission were to be made public immediately and not subject to any prior scrutiny and editing by UCI."
Fahey is angered by the UCI's refusal to participate in a "continuing professional dialogue" and that WADA's recommendations were "seemingly rejected without any reply".
"WADA has not and will not consider partaking in any venture with UCI while this unilateral and arrogant attitude continues," said Fahey. "There has been no suggestion made by WADA that it will pay for or contribute to any collaborative effort with UCI into investigating UCI’s long-standing problems with doping in its sport and its alleged complicity.
"Presuming the Independent Commission will reconvene on Thursday, as arranged, WADA intends to seek an appearance and table correspondence corroborating the facts stated here."