Tygart says UCI ‘blindfolded and handcuffed’ the Independent Commission
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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tygart says UCI ‘blindfolded and handcuffed’ the Independent Commission

by Shane Stokes at 4:21 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
USADA CEO frustrated by governing body’s decision to shelve investigation into it

Travis  TygartResponding to yesterday’s decision by the UCI to shelve the Independent Commission that it had previously claimed would exonerate it, its current president Pat McQuaid and former chief Hein Verbruggen over the Lance Armstrong/US Postal Service team scandal, the US Anti Doping Agency has reacted with scepticism.

“As we previously said, the UCI 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,” stated USADA CEO Travis Tygart.

The Independent Commission showed its intent to fully investigate the UCI when it called on the governing body to accept the request by USADA, WADA and the Change Cycling Now pressure group for an amnesty for all witnesses.

The Commission said that it agreed there was a need for this in order to encourage people to come forward and speak out, but the UCI denied this request and said that it was not possible under WADA’s own rules.

An at-times tense meeting took place last week between the Commission and the UCI’s lawyers, where the Commission said that it had not received any documents from the UCI. Frustration was evident, as can be seen from the full transcript released yesterday, but it was ultimately decided that a further meeting would be held later this month to see if it could move forward.

The UCI then scrapped that agreement yesterday when it announced that it was ending the Commission’s work months earlier than envisaged, and that it would instead work towards a future Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

That process will take place after the UCI elections in September, where McQuaid is seeing to hold onto his presidency. His chances of re-election would have been dented had the Independent Commission concluded that either he or the UCI had helped shield Armstrong.

Tygart had been clear in his belief that the governing body had not acted objectively with the rider, and is frustrated that the Commission will not be allowed rule on that. He is sceptical about any future process where the UCI is itself involved.

“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,” he said.

The Independent Commission is expected to issue its own reaction today.


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