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UCI anti-doping helpline goes live next week

UCI President Pat McQuaid at the UCI headquarters in Aigle

UCI President Pat McQuaid at the UCI headquarters in Aigle (Image credit: AFP)

The UCI’s anti-doping hotline has been re-branded as a 'helpline' and is expected to go live by the end of next week. The UCI confirmed to Cyclingnews on Tuesday that the ‘helpline’ was close to completion with the finer details - like what the federation could and would do with any information passed to them - still to be finalised.

The helpline was devised in the aftermath of USADA’s investigation into Lance Armstrong and the US Postal team. The anti-doping agency raised several delicate questions regarding the sport’s governing body and its actions during Armstrong career, with allegations of corruption central to confessions from Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis.

Along with the helpline, the UCI set up an independent commission to address the allegations. The report is expected later this year.

“Forget hotline, it’s a helpline,” a UCI spokesperson told Cyclingnews.

“It’s all done technically and we’re doing some tests now to make sure that everything works.

“We’re in the phase of deciding what to do with calls. There’s a lot of protocols to give everything the chance but if you’re a rider and you called the UCI to say this and that, then we have the message in our hands. We have to still decide what to do. Do we give to the police, a special commission, or not. We need to find out if the information is it true or a joke. There’s still work to be done in the second phase.”

When the helpline was announced last month, it was criticised by former pro rider Frankie Andreu. The American testified against Armstrong in USADA’s Reasoned Decision but had offered to give the UCI information about doping practices many years ago.

Andreu told Cyclingnews, "The main problem that I have with it is that when McQuaid says people brought information forward to the UCI that they followed up on it. Are they contacting those in the USADA investigations or are they sitting back and just letting the report sit and be what it is?"