WADA: There’s nothing to prevent an independent anti-doping body policing cycling
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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

WADA: There’s nothing to prevent an independent anti-doping body policing cycling

by Shane Stokes at 2:45 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Agency contradicts McQuaid’s assertion that Cookson’s proposal is impossible

WADAThe World Anti Doping Agency has countered a claim made yesterday by Pat McQuaid, in which he said that Brian Cookson was incorrect in promising a fully independent anti-doping agency to police cycling.

McQuaid blasted Cookson yesterday over his plans for a bigger distance between those promoting and policing the sport. As he has done several times over the past year, McQuaid claimed that it was impossible under the current rules to have a fully independent entity handing this area.

“Brian Cookson’s manifesto is proposing nothing new on independent anti-doping, because the WADA Code simply does not permit the UCI, or indeed any other international federation, to create an independent anti-doping body,” McQuaid said in a dismissive release yesterday.

“As a signatory of the WADA Code, the UCI is responsible for all anti-doping in cycling. While it may delegate responsibility to a third party, any third party must comply with the UCI rules and the WADA Code – and so its operations must remain part of the UCI’s anti-doping programme.”

However, responding to an enquiry by VeloNation, WADA’s director of communications Julie Masse replied today that the reality is somewhat different.

“Under the World Anti-Doping Code there are no rules that prevent an international federation to outsource their testing and results management program to an independent body,” she stated.

“For instance, SportAccord conducts testing and results management for some international federations. Also, some international federations delegate the results management responsibility to their national federations.

“The international federations [such as the UCI – ed.] are responsible for ensuring that their rules are Code compliant and implemented appropriately.”

Cookson has expressed concerns about the current setup within the UCI, where the CADF runs anti-doping for the agency. Set up by the UCI several years ago, housed in the same building as the governing body and presided over by McQuaid, the foundation has clear links to the international federation.

While the UCI has recently began labelling it independent in its press releases, Cookson has said that he believes the sport needs something with greater distances from the governing body.

“I think the CADF is a good step in the right direction but I think we need two or three more steps sooner and further,” he told VeloNation in a lengthy interview published this week. “I want that really to become an entirely independent organisation...not the one that’s based down the corridor from the president’s office in the UCI, but in an entirely separate organisation.

“The details of that will have to be worked out very closely with WADA because we do have responsibilities as an international federation in terms of anti-doping and so on. I’m absolutely strongly in favour of cycling anti-doping being ruled in every sense by an independent organisation, so there’s no possibility of a conflict of interest between the international federation, the teams, the race organisers and so on and so forth.”

Now, contrary to what McQuaid stated yesterday, it appears that WADA rules do indeed permit something along those lines.

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