BLOOMBERG, VELO NEWS (USA), THE INDEPENDENT (UK)
AIGLE - The UCI (International Cycling Union), has given in to World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and American Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and disbanded its independent commission on the Lance Armstrong affair, opting instead to create a “truth and reconciliation panel” that looks more broadly at investigating the culture of doping in cycling.
WADA and USAD had questioned the integrity of certain members of the former UCI commission, according to Bloomberg. And the latest shakeup comes a week after long-awaited confessions earlier this month by Armstrong that he had used banned performance-enhancing substances throughout his career.
Armstrong in 2004 (photo: Denkfabrikant)
The UCI’s independent commission, which was set up in October, was chaired by Philip Otton, a former judge in England’s court of Appeal and included British Paralympic champion Tanni Grey-Thompson and Australian lawyer Malcolm Holmes.
Otton criticized the timing of the announcement of the new truth and reconciliation commission, saying that the ensuing delay would be “an excuse to kick the USADA allegations,” concerning Amstrong “into the long grass,” reports the Independent.
USADA CEO Travis Tygart told Velo News that the UCI had “blindfolded and handcuffed its independent commission and now hopes the world will look the other way while the UCI attempts to insert itself into the investigation into the role it played in allowing the doping culture to flourish.”
Tygart added: “We have always fully supported a well-structured truth and reconciliation process in order to clean up the sport and protect the rights of athletes but it is clear that the UCI cannot be allowed to script its own self-interested outcome in this effort.”
UCI president Pat McQuaid, was quoted by Velo News, as saying that after consulting both doping investigators and cycling stakeholders, the body has "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.”
McQuaid added: “I hope the lessons learned from the truth and reconciliation process will help in particular to educate young riders and to help eradicate doping in its entirety from cycling.”