To understand the Cycling Independent Reform Commission's scope, we need to go back to the moment in time when all of cycling's doping past finally reached a tipping point, and that is the day of May 10, 2010: the day that Floyd Landis made public his accusations that the US Postal Service team engaged in organised doping during Lance Armstrong's Tour de France reign.
The story caught the eye of the US Federal Government, whose Food and Drug Adminstration was enlisted to launch an investigation similar to the BALCO steroid case which had concluded a few years earlier.
- US FDA investigation of Armstrong allegations - a timeline
- Lance Armstrong doping news, 1999-2013 - a timeline
Notably, the UCI, once it got wind of the interest of the FDA, requested that USADA investigate claims that Landis had made against Lance Armstrong, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Jim Ochowicz and David Zabriskie. USADA was more than happy to oblige once the federal investigation was abruptly closed. The UCI may have gotten more than it bargained for, because USADA turned up multiple allegations that the UCI itself was at worst complicit in the doping culture, and at best it turned a blind eye to it. In June, 2012, USADA formally announced it had charged Armstrong with doping.
Meanwhile, the flood gates of doping confessions opened with Tyler Hamilton revealing more unsettling details into the doping culture of the sport in the early 2000s in a book called The Secret Race. Again, more allegations that the UCI was not doing its best to combat the doping.
By the end of 2012, the UCI agreed to form an "independent commission" which would get to the bottom of the allegations against the UCI made in the USADA report.
- November 7, 2012: Head of International Council of Arbitration for Sport to Recommend UCI Commission Members
- November 30, 2012: UCI Names Panel for Armstrong Affair Commission
- December 13, 2012: UCI Independent Commission Contacts Potential Witnesses
The anti-doping authorities lobbied for the commission to provide a path toward amnesty for athletes who helped the investigation so they would no longer feel pressure to cover up their actions and the actions of others. It became an major sticking point, and the UCI hastily disbanded the commission, much to the dismay of WADA and USADA.
- December 13, 2012: WADA President Has Concerns About UCI Independent Commission
- January 15, 2013: Anti Doping Agencies Refuse to Join UCI Independent Commission
- January 16, 2013: Independent Commission Urges UCI to Agree to Truth and Reconciliation Process
- January 16, 2013: UCI Reject Calls for a Cycling Only Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Finally, on January 17, 2013, Armstrong went on television for an interview with Oprah Winfrey and confessed to doping.
- January 17, 2013: Lance Armstrong confesses to doping
The independent commission didn't last long after that.
- January 19, 2013: WADA Contends it Was Never Consulted on Amnesty
- January 25, 2013: UCI Independent Commission Rejects UCI Call to Suspend Inquiries
- January 25, 2013: McQuaid UCI In Talks with WADA Over Truth and Reconciliation Commission
- January 29, 2013: UCI Independent Commission Blindfolded and Handcuffed Says USADA
- January 29, 2013: UCI to Disband Independent Commission
- January 29, 2013: WADA Expresses Dismay at UCI's Disbandment of Commission
The anti-doping authorities continued to push for amnesty, while the UCI continued to combat allegations of covering up positive tests for Armstrong. At the same time, a challenger to Pat McQuaid emerged in Brian Cookson, and the battle became more politically charged than ever.
- January 31, 2013: Inside USADAs Draft for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission
- February 8, 2013: Robert Millar:Truth and Reconciliation Or Trial and Retribution
- April 15, 2013: Two Armstrong Doping Controls at 2001 Tour De Suisse Suspicious But Not Positive UCI say
- April 16, 2013: Report Further Suspect Samples for Armstrong In 1999 Tour
- April 17, 2013: UCI Releases Full Facts on Armstrong's 1999 Tour De France Doping Controls
- April 25, 2013: Tygart Says Armstrong Has Evidence of UCI Complicity
- April 26, 2013: UCI Hit Back at Accusations of Complicity In Armstrong's Doping
- May 29, 2013: Armstrong Renews Call for Truth and Reconciliation
On September 27, 2013, Cookson was elected president of the UCI, and began work on a new independent commission, thankfully giving up on the somewhat offensive "truth and reconciliation" nomiker in favour of the title "Cycling Independent Reform Commission". All talk of amnesty was dropped, although the panel was given the leeway to offer reduced doping bans to those who cooperated. That courtesy was not extended to Armstrong, who testified twice.
- September 27, 2013: Brian Cookson Elected UCI President
- September 28, 2013: Cookson Invites Armstrong to Contribute to Truth and Reconciliation Process
- October 11, 2013: Cookson in Talks with WADA About Independent Investigation Into the UCI's Past
- November 12, 2013: UCI and WADA Will Work Together on Independent Commission
- December 16, 2013: Cookson UCI Independent Commission Set for Early 2014
- January 8, 2014: International Power Behind Independent Reform Commission
- January 8, 2014: UCI Announces Cycling Independent Reform Commission
- January 19, 2014: McQuaid Exclusive Cookson Won't Find Skeletons In My Closet
- February 1, 2014: UCI Approves Reduced Sanctions for Cooperation with CIRC
- February 11, 2014: Independent Reform Commission Offers Olive Branch to Lance Armstrong
- March 4, 2014: Pat McQuaid to Decide on CIRC Participation
- March 5, 2014: Froome Wants CIRC Investigation to Put Armstrong Era to Bed
- March 21, 2014: USADA to Supply CIRC with an Unredacted Reasoned Decision
- May 23, 2014: Cookson Reveals that People Have Come Forward to the CIRC Reform Commission
- June 17, 2014: Report Santambrogio Confesses to UCI CIRC Doping Commission
- July 18, 2014: Lance Armstrong Gives Evidence to Cycling Independent Reform Commission
- July 29, 2014: Cookson: Riis and Vinokourov Should Talk to the CIRC
- October 28, 2014: Lance Armstrong Set for Second Meeting with CIRC
- December 18, 2014: Ricco Describes the Cycling Reform Commission as a Joke
- February 22, 2015: CIRC Report Will Make for Uncomfortable Reading says Cookson
- February 24, 2015: UCI Pass Zorzoli Investigation to CIRC
- March 5, 2015: Froome Reveals He Testified to CIRC
- March 6, 2015: UCI to publish CIRC report on Monday
- March 9, 2015: CIRC: No new doping admissions or proof of corruption in UCI
- March 9, 2015: CIRC: Lance Armstrong's ban holds as McQuaid and Verbruggen fall under scrutiny
- March 9, 2015: Riis and Vinokourov among 174 people interviewed by CIRC
- March 9, 2015: CIRC suggests that doping has gone underground with micro-dosing and TUE abuse
- March 9, 2015: CIRC: USADA commends Cookson for anti-doping reform
- March 9, 2015: CIRC recommends retroactive testing, survey of doping
- March 9, 2015: CIRC uncovers serious weaknesses in UCI anti-doping strategy
- March 9, 2015: McQuaid: I made mistakes but I wasn’t a corrupt president
- March 9, 2015: CIRC finds no proof of UCI corruption but questions linger over governance
- March 9, 2015: Cookson to ask Verbruggen to step down as honorary president of the UCI
- March 9, 2015: Verbruggen claims CIRC report "confirms his complete innocence"
- March 9, 2015: Pound: Past UCI leaders only wanted to shoot the messenger
- March 9, 2015: Armstrong could get chance to seek reduced ban
- March 10, 2015: Cookson: Verbruggen and McQuaid actions unforgivable
- March 10, 2015: Contador confirms he talked to CIRC investigators
- March 10, 2015: Gripper: Cycling is leading the world in the fight against doping
- March 10, 2015: Riis says Cookson needs to show he can lead after CIRC report
- March 13, 2015: UCI announces new anti-doping measures in wake of CIRC report
- March 13, 2015: Q&A: Travis Tygart on CIRC and the Geert Leinders case
- March 13, 2015: Froome: We must do everything to tackle doping