Change Cycling Now says Independent Commission being impeded by UCI, withdraws cooperation
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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Change Cycling Now says Independent Commission being impeded by UCI, withdraws cooperation

by Shane Stokes at 6:45 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Claims it is being ‘systematically prevented from conducting a truly independent review’

Change Cycling NowEchoing the actions of WADA and USADA, the Change Cycling Now pressure group has confirmed that it too is withdrawing its cooperation with the Independent Commission examining the UCI as a mark of protest.

CCN said it joined the two agencies in calling for a Truth and Reconciliation process plus an amnesty programme but despite a formal request made by WADA and USADA in mid-December, that this has not happened.

“Amendments reflecting this position were officially requested by WADA and USADA. These were accepted by the Commission which surprisingly maintained that final approval from the UCI was required in order for the proposals to be adopted,” stated CCN.

“The UCI's response took almost a month. On 11th January, 2013, the UCI informed the commission they were not willing to accept the inclusion of the additional proposals. Despite the protracted response time, the UCI also refused to extend the deadline for the commission's final report - effectively reducing the time allotted to the overall review process.”

CCN referred back to UCI President Pat McQuaid’s statement in November when the original Terms of Reference were announced, and his insistence that those terms were decided by the commission members.

It states that this may be the case, but that any changes or additions are effectively open to being blocked by the governing body.

“The requirement for any proposed amendments to be approved by the UCI clearly impinges on claims of the Commission's independence and questions the veracity of Mr McQuaid's statement. It is clear that the Commission's review is NOT independent of UCI influence,” CCN states.

VeloNation understands that the proposed Truth and Reconciliation/Amnesty process would not result in an additional expense to the UCI, with the cost of its proposed introduction to be covered by others. WADA and USADA have said that this process is crucial to enable witnesses to come forward without fear of punishment or retribution, and thus to uncovering the full truth.

The Independent Commission appears to be in agreement, issuing its own statement today calling on the UCI to reconsider its approach.

CCN is critical of the UCI’s position and like WADA and USADA, states that it is stepping back. “At present, it is clear the Commission is being systematically prevented from conducting a truly independent review by inappropriate interference from the UCI. Therefore, CCN has confirmed it cannot co-operate in the review or public hearing until such time as the Commission obtains a position of full independence.

“CCN calls on the Commission to unilaterally adopt principles that collective world agencies agree are vital for the successful conclusion of a comprehensive and unrestricted review.”

The Change Cycling Now group was established in the wake of USADA’s reasoned decision and met in London in December. The group includes Tour de France winner Greg LeMond, the anti-doping scientists Michael Ashenden and Robin Parisotto, former Festina trainer Antoine Vayer, Skins Chairman Jaimie Fuller, the journalists Paul Kimmage and David Walsh and others.

It is seeking a reform of the UCI, greater transparency in anti-doping, a Truth and Reconciliation process and other measures.


The full statement is as follows:

Change Cycling Now (CCN) Tells Commission to Demand True Independence in the wake of UCI Interference.


Recent events relating to the forthcoming investigation of the UCI and it's anti-doping procedures, have confirmed to CCN that the preparations are suffering inappropriate influence from the UCI itself which will prohibit any possibility of a fully independent review.

In a letter sent to the Review Commission yesterday, CCN has confirmed that the UCI's power of veto on all amendments to a supposedly independent review, is completely unacceptable and that CCN will play no part in a process that continues to be singularly orchestrated by the organisation that is under investigation. Therefore, CCN will neither co-operate with, or endorse a toothless and wholly inappropriate process that is clearly not independent of UCI interference.

Upon the publication of the Commission's terms of reference on November 30th, 2012, CCN immediately called for wider powers of investigation. These included the addition of a truth and reconciliation process and amnesty programme to guarantee protection for important witnesses. These demands are consistent with the positions of both WADA and USADA.

At a meeting in Colorado on December, 15th & 16th, amendments reflecting this position were officially requested by WADA and USADA. These were accepted by the Commission which surprisingly maintained that final approval from the UCI was required in order for the proposals to be adopted.

The UCI's response took almost a month. On 11th January, 2013, the UCI informed the commission they were not willing to accept the inclusion of the additional proposals. Despite the protracted response time, the UCI also refused to extend the deadline for the commission's final report - effectively reducing the time allotted to the overall review process.

Upon the creation of the Commission's panel in November and the announcement of the original terms of reference, UCI President, Pat McQuaid stated that: "The UCI did not set the terms, the commission themselves set the terms of reference." However, the requirement for any proposed amendments to be approved by the UCI, clearly impinges on claims of the Commission's independence and questions the veracity of Mr McQuaid's statement. It is clear that the Commission's review is NOT independent of UCI influence.

At present, it is clear the Commission is being systematically prevented from conducting a truly independent review by inappropriate interference from the UCI. Therefore, CCN has confirmed it cannot co-operate in the review or public hearing until such time as the Commission obtains a position of full independence.

CCN calls on the Commission to unilaterally adopt principles that collective world agencies agree are vital for the successful conclusion of a comprehensive and unrestricted review.

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