The International Cycling Union (UCI) has begun the process by which it hopes will address the serious allegations that surfaced during USADA's investigation into Lance Armstrong and the US Postal team.
The sport's governing body has invited the President of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS) to recommend the three panelists that will make up the Independent Commission. The Commission will look at the serious allegations and behaviour of the UCI during the Lance Armstrong era. The UCI faced several allegations which included covering up a positive test and bribery after accepting several donations from Armstrong.
John Coates will recommend three individuals to sit on the panel. The first, and its chair, will be a respected senior lawyer; the second will be a forensic accountant, who will be recommended by the chair; and, the third will be an experienced sports administrator. All three members will be independent of cycling.
In a press release issued on Wednesday the UCI stated: “The UCI has drawn up draft terms of reference which addresses the main issues raised by the USADA report into Lance Armstrong.
“The purpose of this independent commission is to look into the findings of the USADA report and ultimately to make conclusions and recommendations that will enable the UCI to restore confidence in the sport of cycling and in the UCI as its governing body.”
UCI President Pat McQuaid continued: “Cycling is one of the world’s most popular sports, both for participants and spectators and it has a bright future.
"Those who will define that future can be found among the current generation of riders who have chosen to prove that you can compete and win clean.”
Coates has already recommended a number of legal figures for the commission and the UCI has already begun contacting several of Coates choices. The UCI reiterated that the commission will produce their findings no later that June 1, 2013.
UCI President, Pat McQuaid, said: “We would like thank John Coates for his recommendations, which we will follow to the letter.”
The UCI announced their plans to form a commission last week after confirming they would not appeal USADA's decision to strip Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles. They also announced the suspension of the legal suit against journalist Paul Kimmage.
Who is John Coates?
As well as being a lawyer and long term administrator in sport, Coates is a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and is the current president of the Australian Olympic Committee and chairman of the Australian Olympic Foundation.
Earlier this month ABC News reported that Coates wanted athletes to sign a statutory declaration saying they have no doping history if they wished to compete at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016. Such a measure would be in line with Sky's and ORICA GreenEdge's 'zero tolerance' stance to doping and throws into question the possibility of a 'truth and reconciliation' process within cycling.
"If they don't sign, they don't go to the Games, they won't be selected," Coates said.
"What I don't want is for the AOC to have egg on its face like cycling has.In my opinion we simply cannot allow the name of the AOC to be damaged, like that of the International Cycling Union, for not having taken every reasonable step possible to ensure that no person in authority on our Olympic Team has a doping history," Coates said.
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