Armstrong/USPS Investigation: UCI names Independent Commission members and lists terms of reference
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Friday, November 30, 2012

Armstrong/USPS Investigation: UCI names Independent Commission members and lists terms of reference

by Shane Stokes at 6:12 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
“Only such a decisive and transparent examination of the past will answer our critics” - McQuaid

UCIA little over a month after the UCI announced plans to allow an independent commission to investigate the findings of the USADA report into Lance Armstrong and the US Postal Service team plus the its own role in governing the sport during and after the period in question, the UCI has announced details of that commission.

John Coates, President of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS) and IOC member, was appointed to draw up the commission members and has now done so, with former Court of Appeal judge Sir Philip Otton to act as chair.

Otton’s background in the area of sport includes arbitration work in disputes involving English Football Premier League players and clubs. He also chaired Football Association disciplinary proceedings, and has served as sole Mediator in disputes relating to Formula 1 Racing companies plus the 2007 America's cup.

The other two members of the commission will be UK House of Lords Peer and Paralympic Champion Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, as well as the Australian lawyer Malcolm Holmes QC.

Grey-Thompson is an eleven time Paralympic champion and a six time world championship gold medallist who retired in 2007. Since then she has done TV presenting work, served as a non-executive director for UK Athletics, and has sat on the board of both the London Marathon and Transport for London. She has been a member of the House of Lords since March 2010.

In addition to his other legal work, Holmes has been an arbitrator with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) since 1995. He was also a member of the Ad Hoc Division of CAS at the Athens Olympic Games in 2004 and at the Torino winter Olympic Games in 2006. Holmes was the CAS arbitrator in the Mark French cycling doping case, stating that the rider had committed eight breaches of the ASC and CA anti-doping policies and handing him a two year bank plus a fine of $1,000.

UCI President Pat McQuaid thanked Coates for putting together for putting together what he termed, ‘a high calibre and truly Independent Commission.’

He said that a wide ranging terms of reference showed that the Commission was determined to fully review the issues in the USADA report.

The Irishman said that the work was vital for the sport moving forward. “As I have said previously, the Commission’s report and recommendations are critical to restoring confidence in the sport of cycling and in the UCI as its governing body. We will co-operate fully with the Commission and provide them with whatever they need to conduct their enquiry and we urge all other interested stakeholders to do the same. We will listen to and act on the Commission’s recommendations.”

The UCI stated that the commission would be fully independent of the UCI, ICAS and CAS – despite Holmes’ work with CAS – and that it will meet in London between April 9th and 26th. After that, it will work on a report to be delivered by June 1st of next year, or shortly afterwards.

The terms of reference are reproduced below and show that the Commission has been asked to look into a wide range of claims made against the UCI, including that it knew or should have known about Lance Armstrong’s doping, that it tolerated such actions, that it took inappropriate payments from the rider, that it sought to discourage witnesses from coming forward and other allegations made against it.

Many of the concerns raised about the UCI’s relationship with Armstrong are covered by those terms.

McQuaid said that counsel would assist the Commission and that the UCI would have its own legal representation at the hearings and throughout the process. He said that the costs of the Commission would be a ‘significant burden’ on the UCI, but said it was necessary. “It is clear that only such a decisive and transparent examination of the past will answer our critics by thoroughly examining our assertion that the UCI’s anti-doping procedures are and have been among the most innovative and stringent in sport.”

“Some of our critics have suggested that this Commission would not be fully independent. They were wrong,” he continued. “The UCI had no influence on the selection of the Commission members.

“The appointment of these three eminent figures demonstrates clearly that the UCI wants to get to the bottom of the Lance Armstrong affair and put cycling back on the right track. Rather than simply attacking the UCI, our critics now have an opportunity to be part of the solution. I would ask them, therefore, to make their representation to the Independent Commission – and to start to put cycling first.”

The UCI added that details would be released in the next fortnight of the previously-announced Stakeholder Consultation. It said it will look at how to improve cycling going forward and also to look at other areas of concern.

Independent Commission terms of reference:

In consequence of the Reasoned Decision of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), dated 10 October 2012, in its proceedings against Lance Armstrong as part of the US Postal Service (USPS) Pro Cycling Team Investigation.

AND in light of the decision of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), of 22 October 2012, to recognise the sanction imposed by USADA upon Lance Armstrong and not to appeal the Reasoned Decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and therefore proceeding upon the assumptions that as set out in the Reasoned Decision:-

(1) Lance Armstrong, whilst a professional cyclist, together with the USPS Team, engaged in the use, administration and trafficking of performance enhancing drugs and methods; and

(2) as admitted by them, teammates of Lance Armstrong in the USPS Team engaged in the use of performance enhancing drugs and methods.

AND without making any assumptions regarding the allegations against the UCI set out in the Reasoned Decision.

The terms of reference of the Independent Commission are as follows:-


1. Whether the allegations against the UCI set out in the Reasoned Decision are well founded.

2. Whether, between 1998 and 2012, the UCI realised that Lance Armstrong and the USPS Team were collaborating to avoid detection in the use, possession, administration and trafficking of performance enhancing drugs and methods, and: (i) if the UCI did realise, whether it failed to respond appropriately; and (ii) if the UCI did not realise, whether it ought to have done so, and what steps (if any) it should have taken to inform itself of the actions of Lance Armstrong and the USPS Team in order to act appropriately.

3. Whether, and if so, to what extent the UCI’s anti-doping policies and procedures between (i) 1998 and 2005 and (ii) 2005 and 2012, were inadequate or were not enforced with sufficient rigour; and if so, whether the UCI was at the time aware, or ought to have been aware, of such inadequacy or lack of enforcement.

4. Whether there was, between 1998 and 2012, any reliable evidence or information in the possession of or known to the UCI regarding allegations or suspicions of doping by Lance Armstrong and the USPS Team; and if so, whether there was any failure by the UCI to act appropriately in regard to such information.

5. Whether, when Lance Armstrong returned to racing in 2009, there was a failure by the UCI to detect signs of doping by him, and whether it was appropriate for him to return to and continue racing.

6. Whether payments were made by Lance Armstrong and the USPS Team to the UCI, between 1998 and 2012,
and if so whether it was appropriate for the UCI to have accepted such payments, or to have accepted them on the basis (explicit or implicit) upon which they were made.

7. Whether the UCI inappropriately discouraged those persons with knowledge of doping by Lance Armstrong and the USPS Team from coming forward with such knowledge, and whether the UCI should have done more to encourage such persons to come forward sooner.

8. Whether the UCI adequately co-operated with, assisted in and reacted to the USADA USPS Team Investigation.

9. Whether any persons previously convicted of doping, or voluntarily admitting to doping, or supporting riders in doping, should be able to work within the world of cycling in the future; and, if not, how such a prohibition could and should be enforced.

10. Whether the UCI had a conflict of interest between its roles in promoting the sport of cycling and in investigating or making adverse findings against Lance Armstrong and the USPS Team.

11. Whether the current doping controls of the UCI are adequate and compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code of the World Anti-Doping Agency, and whether those controls can be improved.
B. To EXAMINE all relevant documents in the control or possession of the UCI or its senior management or employees (or previous employees), including without limitation Pat McQuaid, Hein Verbruggen, Christian Varin, Anne Gripper, Francesca Rossi and Mario Zorzoli, in regard to doping, or suspected doping, by Lance Armstrong and the USPS Team, such documents to include, without limitation:-

1. all external letters, emails, faxes, notes of telephone conversations, spreadsheets, presentations, instant messages, or other external documents whether physical or electronic; and

2. all internal records (including financial records, scientific data and laboratory test results), emails, faxes, diary entries, notes of telephone conversations, records of internal meetings, memoranda, bank and computer records, spreadsheets, presentations, instant messages, or other internal documents whether physical or electronic,
and to draw conclusions from such documents.



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