CIRC report will make for uncomfortable reading, says Cookson

UCI president Brian Cookson has warned that the report of the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) will make for uncomfortable reading when it is published in the coming weeks.

CIRC was established after Cookson became UCI president in the Autumn of 2013 and is due to deliver its findings by the end of February. The commission was assigned to investigate doping in cycling from 1998 onwards, as well as allegations that the UCI had mishandled the problem in that period.

"When you open a can of worms you find a lot of worms," Cookson told the Guardian. "I think it’s going to be very interesting - there will be a lot of uncomfortable things there.

"I think there will be a lot of uncomfortable reading in it and we should all prepare ourselves for that. That was always going to be part of what was going to happen. I don’t think there will be a lot of new revelations, because mostly we have a good idea of what was happening and how widespread the problems were."

CIRC’s members, Dick Marty, Peter Haas and Peter Nicholson, will present their report to the UCI next week and Cookson said that it was his intention to publish the report in its entirety.

"We’ve committed to publishing the report that they give us. We’re not going to get into a FIFA-type situation of arguing about the report," he said. "Unless there are legal reasons why names can’t be named, they will be named."

While the remit of the commission seems to be focused largely on drawing up recommendations and guidelines for cycling’s future governance, Cookson suggested that the evidence amassed could be used to take action who have committed doping violations.

"We can draw conclusions from lack of contributions as much as positive contributions. There may have to be some redactions, equally we may be in a position to take action against people named by more than one source as having done something against the regulations," he said.

Cookson expressed his hope that CIRC’s findings might help the UCI to develop a robust method of determining what constitutes a "fit and proper person" to manage a top level team. "What I’d like to get out of the CIRC is more guidance about a fit and proper person test [and] if we need to add conditions in the licencing process," he said.

Cookson also said that there would be "an announcement in the next few days" regarding the audit of Astana’s operations carried out by the University of Lausanne. The audit was one of the conditions attached to Astana’s 2015 WorldTour registration after the spate of positive tests on the team last Autumn and ongoing concerns over manager Alexandre Vinokourov’s doping record.

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