UCI attacked for dropping independent commission
Pressure on cycling’s world governing body the UCI and its Irish president Pat McQuaid grew yesterday in relation to the Lance Armstrong/US Postal Service team doping affair, with the World Anti Doping Agency launching an attack over the UCI’s decision to abandon the independent commission which it previously said would prove it did not shield the American.
The UCI announced the scrapping of that commission in a press release issued late on Monday. The news came as a surprise to the commission, and occurred over four months before it was due to issue its findings.
It had recently urged the UCI to grant the request of Wada and the US Anti Doping Agency for an amnesty for any witnesses coming forward with evidence, but the governing body rejected this.
In its letter on Monday, the UCI had claimed that Wada had undertaken to instead work with it in a Truth and Reconciliation process; Wada blasted the UCI over the press release, saying that it was deceitful in its content.
“The Independent Commission established by UCI was intended to review the allegations of complicity of UCI in the Lance Armstrong doping conspiracy as raised by Usada in its thorough decision,” stated Wada. “Instead UCI has again chosen to ignore its responsibility . . . and has determined to apparently deflect responsibility for the doping problem in its sport to others.”
It said that the UCI’s claims that Wada had agreed to work with it in a Truth and Reconciliation process was not accurate. “This is not only wrong in content and process, but again deceitful,” stated the anti-doping agency. “Wada has not and will not consider partaking in any venture with UCI while this unilateral and arrogant attitude continues.”
McQuaid’s position as president is up for re-election in September. It was originally envisaged that the commission would finalise its work by June, giving sufficient time for a conclusion to be announced prior to his renomination.
Meanwhile the Independent Commission itself expressed reservations over the UCI’s actions.
“When this Commission was announced, Pat McQuaid stated that the UCI ‘will co-operate fully with the Commission . . .” it said in a statement. “Neither the UCI nor interested stakeholders have provided sufficient co-operation to enable the Commission to do its job. This . . . makes our task impossible.”