UCI to disband Independent Commission

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 has announced that it will scrap its Independent Commission in favor of a "truth and reconciliation commission" (TRC). 

UCI president Pat McQuaid blamed the decision on the refusal of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and US Anti-Doping Agency's (USADA's) refusal to cooperate with the investigation unless a TRC was on the table.

The UCIIC itself recommended the incorporation of a TRC to ensure it would be provided with "the most complete evidence available" in its hearing, which was set for April.

“As I said last Friday, we have listened carefully to the views of WADA, USADA and cycling stakeholders and have decided that a truth and reconciliation process is the best way to examine the culture of doping in cycling in the past and to clear the air so that cycling can move forward," said UCI president Pat McQuaid.

The UCIIC was formed to investigate the allegations made by USADA that the UCI acted improperly and insufficiently to combat doping, allowing Lance Armstrong and the US Postal Service team, and by all accounts the majority of the peloton, to engage in performance enhancement unchecked.

However, WADA and USADA both questioned the independence of the commission and objected to the lack of inclusion of an amnesty program. The UCI began negotiations with WADA to incorporate the TRC in the past few days.

“Over the weekend I spoke to John Fahey, President of WADA. He confirmed WADA’s willingness to help the UCI establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), as well as saying that WADA had no confidence in the existing Independent Commission process.”

The UCI had initially objected to the TRC process, objecting to cycling being singled out for what it believed to be a process that was not consistent with the WADA Code. During the weekend's meeting with the UC Independent Commission, the UCI expressed concern over who would fund a TRC.

“Given this development, the UCI Management Committee today decided that the federation could no longer fund a procedure whose outcome is likely to be rejected by such an important stakeholder," McQuaid said. "We have therefore decided to disband the Independent Commission with immediate effect.

The UCI will now focus on establishing a TRC, "with which we expect WADA to be fully engaged, to look at doping in professional cycling, as well as the allegations contained in the USADA reasoned decision. The work that has so far been undertaken by the Independent Commission will be shared with the TRC.”

The UCI stated it would launch the TRC "later this year" and once it was complete a report would be published "in full".

The UCI had been withholding its documentation from the UCIIC until it could work out how a TRC would be established.

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