UCI Independent Commission urges UCI to reconsider refusal to allow Truth and Reconciliation process
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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

UCI Independent Commission urges UCI to reconsider refusal to allow Truth and Reconciliation process

by Shane Stokes at 5:31 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Hopes for change in stance from governing body and that WADA, USADA and CCN will return

UCI Independent CommissionFollowing yesterday’s decision by both the World Anti Doping Agency and the US Anti Doping Agency to end their cooperation with the UCI’s Independent Commission, that commission has called on the UCI to reconsider its position on series of requested changes.

Both WADA and USADA had requested the commission to modify the terms of reference and to introduce a Truth and Reconciliation/Amnesty process in order to protect witnesses from punishment or sanction. They argued that without this, there was a real deterrent to anyone who was considering giving evidence, and that the investigation would be stymied as a result.

Responding today, the Independent Commission has said that it agreed with the calls for a Truth and Reconciliation process, and said that it wanted the UCI to think again on the matter.

“It is of great regret to the Commission that the UCI, WADA and USADA have not been able to reach agreement to a Truth and Reconciliation process, and that WADA, USADA and CCN [the Change Cycling Now pressure group – ed.] have indicated to the Commission that they do not wish to participate in the Inquiry on the present Terms of Reference,” it said in a statement.

“The Commission is of the view that a Truth and Reconciliation process is desirable for the purposes of this Inquiry, and that such a process would ensure that the most complete evidence is available to the Commission at its hearing in April 2013. The Commission is of the view that such a process would be in the interests not only of the Inquiry, but also of professional cycling as a whole.

“The Commission, via the Solicitors to the Inquiry, has written to the UCI’s solicitors, urging the UCI to reconsider its position.”

The development is an embarrassment to the UCI, which had used the announcement of an Independent Commission in October as a way of deflecting criticism over its association with Lance Armstrong and its handling of the USADA investigation.

The UCI had earlier questioned USADA’s jurisdiction in the investigation into Armstrong and the US Postal Service team, earning a rebuke from WADA.

The governing body claimed that the establishment of a commission which was totally independent from the UCI would prove that it was fully transparent and had nothing to hide. That claim now rings hollow, with the same commission pointing out that the UCI’s stance is impeding the investigation.

Yesterday USADA CEO Travis Tygart said that there was a “grave concern that the UCI has blindfolded and handcuffed this Independent Commission to ensure a pre-determined outcome.”

The Independent Commission members Sir Philip Otton, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and Malcolm Holmes met yesterday and have decided to hold a procedural hearing where this issue will be addressed with the UCI. The scope of the Terms of Reference will also be considered there, particularly points 1, 3 and 9, as will the timetable laid out for the completion of the enquiry. This meeting will be held in public and will take place ‘as soon as possible after January 21st’ in central London.

The highlighted terms of reference are as follows:

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

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.

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.



The commission adds that the participation of USADA, WADA and the pressure group Change Cycling Now would be of assistance to its task. It said that it “hopes that they will give further consideration to participating, and will continue to explore the possibility of a Truth and Reconciliation process directly with the UCI.”

It is continuing to seek evidence from those who do not require an amnesty; those individuals should email Geoff.Steward@macfarlanes.com.



The full statement of the UCI Independent Commission is as follows:


Since its appointment, on 30 November 2012, the Commission has been seeking to gather evidence relevant to its Terms of Reference. It has also received representations from various interested bodies and individuals as to the scope of the Terms of Reference.

Various parties have said to the Commission that the Inquiry ought to include a Truth and Reconciliation process, with a full or partial amnesty being offered to riders, team management, or others involved in professional cycling, who confess to past involvement in doping. Representations to that effect have been made by Change Cycling Now (CCN), the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

USADA has provided the Commission with a draft Truth and Reconciliation proposal. Such a process requires the agreement of the relevant anti-doping bodies and the UCI.

On 21 December 2012, the Commission provided USADA’s proposal to the UCI. On 9 January 2013, the UCI indicated to the Commission that that proposal was unacceptable to it as part of this Inquiry.

On 15 January 2013, the Commission met to consider the position.

On the same date WADA, USADA and CCN informed the Commission that they would not participate in the Inquiry unless the Terms of Reference are changed to include a Truth and Reconciliation process.

It is of great regret to the Commission that the UCI, WADA and USADA have not been able to reach agreement to a Truth and Reconciliation process, and that WADA, USADA and CCN have indicated to the Commission that they do not wish to participate in the Inquiry on the present Terms of Reference.

The Commission is of the view that a Truth and Reconciliation process is desirable for the purposes of this Inquiry, and that such a process would ensure that the most complete evidence is available to the Commission at its hearing in April 2013. The Commission is of the view that such a process would be in the interests not only of the Inquiry, but also of professional cycling as a whole.

The Commission, via the Solicitors to the Inquiry, has written to the UCI’s solicitors, urging the UCI to reconsider its position.

In addition, the Commission has decided to hold a procedural hearing, to take place as soon as possible after 21 January 2013, in public, where this issue will be addressed with the UCI.

At that hearing the Commission will also consider the scope of the Terms of Reference generally, and in particular Terms of Reference #1, 3 and 9; and will consider the current state of the timetable.

The Commission is of the view that the participation of USADA, WADA and CCN in the Inquiry would assist the Commission, and it hopes that they will give further consideration to participating, and will continue to explore the possibility of a Truth and Reconciliation process directly with the UCI.

The procedural hearing will be in Central London, and the date, venue and time will be confirmed shortly.

In the meantime the Commission encourages any person who does not need the benefit of an amnesty to come forward and give evidence by contacting Geoff Steward of Macfarlanes at Geoff.Steward@macfarlanes.com.

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