UCI confirms seven blank years on Tour de France honours list
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Friday, October 26, 2012

UCI confirms seven blank years on Tour de France honours list

by Shane Stokes at 11:58 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
‘Decisive action’ announced by governing body in response to USADA report

UCIAccepting the urging of riders’ and teams’ associations, national federations and others that a strong response was needed, the UCI has announced that its management committee has pledged ‘decisive action’ in relation to the Armstrong/US Postal Service doping affair.

The management committee met today in Geneva and has come to several conclusions. It has confirmed that it will not seek to have the overturned results handed to other riders, meaning that for the first time in history, the Tour de France results list will show blanks.

The years 1999 to 2005 are involved, so for those seven years there will officially be no winner of the race. The riders who finished second during that time, namely Alex Zuelle, Jan Ullrich (3), Joseba Beloki, Andreas Klöden and Ivan Basso will not move up into prime position.

In addition to that, the same will apply to any other results in the 1998 to 2005 period. “The Committee decided to apply this ruling from now on to any competitive sporting results disqualified due to doping for the period from 1998 to 2005, without prejudice to the statute of limitation,” it stated.

The committee has called on Armstrong and all other disqualified riders to return the prize money achieved in that time. For the Texan, the sum is thought to total almost three million euro.

“The UCI Management Committee acknowledged that a cloud of suspicion would remain hanging over this dark period – but that while this might appear harsh for those who rode clean, they would understand there was little honour to be gained in reallocating places.” Many of the other riders below Armstrong in those Tours have also been implicated in doping practices.

In addition to that, the management committee has said that while it believes ‘enormous strides’ have been made since 2005 as regards the fight against doping, that it has agreed to establish a fully independent external commission.

This will study the allegations made about the UCI in relation to the Armstrong affair, including claims that he was protected from positive tests and that bribes were paid, and will also determine ways to prevent those caught for doping from being involved in the sport across a range of capacities.

No details have been given as yet as regards the composition of the commission, but the UCI has said that an ‘independent sports body’ will nominate the members and that the terms of reference will be arranged between them and the management commission.

It envisages that their report and recommendations should be published ‘no later’ than the first of June 2013.

UCI president Pat McQuaid has repeatedly rejected calls for his resignation, but knows that his leadership is facing a crucial test. He said that he was committed to finding the right path forward. “As I said on Monday, UCI is determined to turn around this painful episode in the history of our sport,” he stated. “We will take whatever actions are deemed necessary by the independent Commission and we will put cycling back on track.

“Today, cycling is a completely different sport from what it was in the period 1998-2005. Riders are now subject to the most innovative and effective anti-doping procedures and regulations in sport. Nevertheless, we have listened to the world’s reaction to the Lance Armstrong affair and have taken these additional decisive steps in response to the grave concerns raised.”

The UCI has also put on hold its legal action against the journalist Paul Kimmage. McQuaid and former president Hein Vebruggen had sued him on the grounds that they said he had deemed the UCI corrupt.

It is unclear if the action could restart after the commission’s findings, or if it will be permanently dropped. The UCI came under a lot of flak for that action, particularly as Kimmage has been an outspoken anti-doping journalist.

A defence fund set up to raise money for the December court case has surpassed $83,000.

The UCI’s full press release is as follows:


UCI takes decisive action in wake of Lance Armstrong affair

The Management Committee of the International Cycling Union (UCI), meeting in Geneva today, decided a number of critical measures in the wake of the USADA ‘Reasoned Decision’ on Lance Armstrong.

The Committee acknowledged that decisive action was needed in response to the report.

With respect to Lance Armstrong and the implications of the USADA sanctions which it endorsed on Monday 22 October, the Management Committee decided not to award victories to any other rider or upgrade other placings in any of the affected events.

The Committee decided to apply this ruling from now on to any competitive sporting results disqualified due to doping for the period from 1998 to 2005, without prejudice to the statute of limitation.

The Committee also called on Armstrong and all other affected riders to return the prize money they had received.

The UCI Management Committee acknowledged that a cloud of suspicion would remain hanging over this dark period – but that while this might appear harsh for those who rode clean, they would understand there was little honour to be gained in reallocating places.

Second, while the Management Committee expressed confidence that enormous strides had been made in the fight against doping since 2005, in order to ensure that UCI and cycling could move forward with the confidence of all parties, the governing body also decided to establish a fully independent external Commission to look into the various allegations made about UCI relating to the Armstrong affair.

The Committee agreed that part of the independent Commission’s remit would be to find ways to ensure that persons caught for doping were no longer able to take part in the sport, including as part of an entourage.

In the week of 5 November 2012, therefore, the Management Committee will announce which independent sports body will nominate the members of the Commission and, with the UCI Management Committee, agree appropriate terms of reference.

Following this, individual members of the independent Commission will be appointed as soon as possible with a view to their report and recommendations being published no later than 1 June 2013.

Finally, while continuing strongly to maintain the merits of UCI’s case, the Committee decided to seek to suspend the UCI legal action against journalist Paul Kimmage, pending the findings of the independent Commission. UCI President Pat McQuaid and Honorary President Hein Verbruggen who are individual parties to the case will similarly seek to put their cases on hold.

UCI President Pat McQuaid said: “As I said on Monday, UCI is determined to turn around this painful episode in the history of our sport. We will take whatever actions are deemed necessary by the independent Commission and we will put cycling back on track.

“Today, cycling is a completely different sport from what it was in the period 1998-2005. Riders are now subject to the most innovative and effective anti-doping procedures and regulations in sport. Nevertheless, we have listened to the world’s reaction to the Lance Armstrong affair and have taken these additional decisive steps in response to the grave concerns raised.”

 

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