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UCI approves reduced sanctions for cooperation with CIRC

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Brian Cookson

Brian Cookson (Image credit: Tim de Waele/
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Hein Verbruggen passed the UCI baton to Pat McQuaid in 2005

Hein Verbruggen passed the UCI baton to Pat McQuaid in 2005 (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Lance Armstrong liked to control the media

Lance Armstrong liked to control the media (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The UCI today announced that its Management Committee approved regulations under which the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) can offer reduced punishment to those who admit to past doping offences while aiding the CIRC in its investigation into cycling's past.

The CIRC will be headed by Swiss politician Dick Marty, and will be tasked with delving into allegations that the UCI was ineffective at combating the rise of doping in the peloton at best, and complicit at worst, as well as examining what went wrong in the sport to contribute to the rampant use of EPO. The UCI hopes that a thorough investigation will help restore the credibility of the sport.

"Our Management Committee has started the year with some great steps for our sport," UCI president Brian Cookson said. "In particular, we have further developed on my commitment to an independent investigation with the approval of the regulations under which the CIRC will work."

The UCI has stepped back from offering a full amnesty, but with the latest announcement is clearly providing incentive for riders and staff to come forward with evidence.

Whether or not Lance Armstrong could benefit from giving testimony remains to be seen. According to a previous article in the Telegraph, the CIRC would only have power to reduce the ban for riders admitting to doping offenses but who have not already been convicted of them.

Any reduction in Armstrong's ban would reportedly have to be negotiated with USADA.