The AIGCP (Association International des Groupes Cyclistes Professionels) has called for an independent commission to investigate and analyse the anti-doping measures across the sport of cycling. President of the organisation, Jonathan Vaugthers, announced the news in Paris on Tuesday and called for the UCI to support the measure. The news comes a day after the UCI ratified USADA's lifetime ban for the disgraced former rider Lance Armstrong.
"The AIGCP unanimously agreed to call for an independent commission to examine all the anti-doping practises that are being performed in cycling right now. The commission should look at the execution, the theory, and pragmatically how well the measures are working," Vaughters told Cyclingnews.
The AIGCP meet several times a year, and typically do so a day before the Tour de France presentation. However, the announcement over the route will be overshadowed by the Armstrong case.
"We are willing to support our share of the cost and we are hopeful that the other stakeholders in cycling are willing to help us financially for that to occur," Vaughters added.
"As opposed to myself or another manager coming forward and saying that everything is great at this point in time, at this juncture, for what we’ve learned over the last 20 years it’s probably best if we take it outside of the sport and have people come and look objectively as to how effective the controls have been, whether they’re effective now and most important, now to avoid the mistake of the last 20 years. That’s our common objective."
At this early stage Vaughters and the AIGCP believe that WADA should be part of the initial plans and potentially help with building the independent commission. However, any move would need the acceptance of the UCI. The AIGCP and the UCI have clashed over several issues in the past, with former giving cycling’s body organisation a vote of no confidence on their leadership earlier this year.
"A start point would be to go to WADA as they’re the umbrella organisation so to have then help determine who the independent group would be," Vaughters told Cyclingnews, before turning his attention to the UCI role.
"I hope they can help to financial help and to help let someone look at what’s going on from an outside perspective. Lets get an objective third party view."
"In the governance aspect we’ve put some serious questions forward in the past year or two. And regarding anti doping, my personal perspective from what I’ve seen Francesca Rossi do as has been excellent. What we need is for someone else to come in and validate that perspective. But also look retrospectively as to where the mistakes were made and where we can make sure there are procedures in place to save us from making the same mistakes.
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Daniel Benson is the Editor in Chief at both Cyclingnews.com and BikePerfect.com. Based in the UK, he has worked within cycling for almost 15 years, and he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he has reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he runs the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.
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