McQuaid asks IOC members to request WADA eases off on UCI
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Friday, February 01, 2013

McQuaid asks IOC members to request WADA eases off on UCI

by Shane Stokes at 6:32 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
UCI president says he wants WADA to ‘sit down with us in a spirit of cooperation and partnership’

Pat McQuaidFeeling pressure in the year where he will once again face election for his current role as UCI president, Pat McQuaid has taken the unusual step of petitioning members of the International Olympic Committee in order to put pressure on WADA.

The UCI and WADA have increasingly tense dealings over cycling’s governing body’s decision to abandon the Independent Commission it had established last autumn. At the time the UCI said that it was confident that the commission would prove that allegations the UCI shielded and enabled Lance Armstrong were false, but when witnesses were slow in coming forward WADA, USADA and the commission itself pushed the UCI to introduce an amnesty.

They said that it was essential to do so in order to protect those witnesses from punishment, and to ensure that the Independent Commission had the full picture to make its final ruling.

However the UCI refused to do so, claiming that it was against WADA’s own rules, and after WADA and USADA withdrew their participation, the UCI used this as justification to abandon the commission. It said that it wanted to instead explore the possibility of a wide-reaching Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Even if this happens, though, the outcome would be long after the point where McQuaid goes forward for election again.

Following a number of accusatory press releases between the UCI and WADA, McQuaid has now asked the 101 members of the IOC to put pressure on WADA to stop publically faulting the UCI and to sit down with it.

"The UCI is committed to establishing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to examine the culture of doping in cycling in the past, as well as the allegations contained in the USADA reasoned decision on Lance Armstrong and the United States Postal Service (USPS) team, and to clean the air so that our sport can move forward,” he wrote in a letter obtained by the Inside the Games website.

“In order to do this, I very much hope that WADA will now desist from continuing the current undignified war of words via the media and sit down with us in a spirit of cooperation and partnership to work out the details of the Truth and Reconciliation process. In return, the UCI will gladly do the same.

“We would welcome any support you can offer in underlining to WADA the importance of working in partnership and cooperation with the UCI to establish this Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”

The IOC played a key role in the establishment of WADA and continues to contribute half its budget. The letter is thus a direct play to members of a body with significant input into how the agency is funded, a political move which WADA may not appreciate.


The full letter is as follows:


Dear Members

You are no doubt well aware of the uncomfortable recent media coverage concerning relations between WADA and the UCI.

I am enclosing the UCI press release of 29 January 2013, in which we very reluctantly decided to release the correspondence between myself and John Fahey. We took this decision because of the enormous discrepancies between what John Fahey was saying to me on the telephone and in his email and the continuing aggressive attacks on the UCI by WADA in public.

Having said that, and as I stated clearly in my letter to Mr Fahey, I wish to reiterate my sincere belief that it is time to put the past behind us and start to work together for the good of cycling and for sport in general.

We have listened very closely in past weeks and, given WADA's lack of confidence in the Independent Commission that the UCI established, it was clear that our federation could no longer fund a procedure whose outcome is so certain to be rejected by such an important stakeholder. That is why we decided to disband the Independent Commission with immediate effect.

We took this decision with great regret, but given the views of WADA we did not see any other option. We are extremely grateful to Sir Philip Otton, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and Malcolm Holmes QC for their valuable work, as well as John Coates, President of ICAS, for his support and help in establishing the Independent Commission.

"The UCI is committed to establishing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to examine the culture of doping in cycling in the past, as well as the allegations contained in the USADA reasoned decision on Lance Armstrong and the United States Postal Service (USPS) team, and to clean the air so that our sport can move forward.

"In order to do this, I very much hope that WADA will now desist from continuing the current undignified war of words via the media and sit down with us in a spirit of cooperation and partnership to work out the details of the Truth and Reconciliation process. In return, the UCI will gladly do the same.

"We would welcome any support you can offer in underlining to WADA the importance of working in partnership and co-operation with the UCI to establish this Truth and Reconciliation Commission."
 

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