Former UCI president Hein Verbruggen has launched a personal website on which he has published his response to the role and the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) report. The website contains an executive summary, summary of criticisms, reports and correspondences between Verbruggen and UCI president Brian Cookson, Martin Gibbs and the CIRC.
Verbruggen explained the rationale for creating his personal website: "I have my own perspective, which I explain on this website. I accept that many people will disagree, and many will never change their minds. However I am making all of my documents freely available here so that you, the reader, can come to your own views based on all of the information that had been provided to the CIRC," he wrote.
"A detailed, thorough analysis by me and by lawyers and other experts of the so-called CIRC report has learned that this report lacks a factual basis, is incomplete and biased and it doesn’t respect basic ethical principles, such as the right to defend yourself against accusations," reads the first paragraph of Verbruggen's executive summary.
Verbruggen refers to the CIRC report as "just one more political manoeuvre, rather than an exercise in fact finding and truth seeking."
The CIRC condemned Verbruggen for his role in the "Vrijman Report" which was to examine allegations that Armstrong used EPO at the 1999 Tour de France, also denouncing his actions allowing Armstrong and Laurent Brochard to provide backdated medical certificates to evade sanction following positive tests, and was critical of Verbruggen’s long-standing feud with the World Anti-Doping Agency.
In March, Verbruggen said that the CIRC vindicates his actions during his time in charge, despite the finding in the document that "numerous examples that prove Lance Armstrong benefited from a preferential status afforded by the UCI leadership."
Verbruggen also provides a time line of his involvement with the UCI, writing that "I have been involved with the Union Cycliste International since 1978, serving as its President between November 1991 and September 2005. I am privileged to have contributed to the UCI’s development and transformation from a virtually non-existent and dysfunctional International Federation, with a total staff of 5 people, to a large, professional and prosperous federation, which is now a highly-respected member of the Olympic Movement."
"In recent years, revelations have emerged about serious doping problems in a great many sports. Where cycling is concerned, this has resulted in huge media coverage, but it has also become a highly politicised issue, even influencing the outcome of elections and other events.
The recently published CIRC Report was an opportunity finally to draw a close to the debate. However, this opportunity has been tragically missed because, when finalised, the report turned out to be for this reason, I have decided to create this website. On it, I will publish all of the documents, letters and reports that were left out, or deliberately ignored by the CIRC. Why the CIRC decided to make these glaring omissions is not clear – but it was certainly not in the pursuit of objectivity and proper analysis.
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