Cycling’s governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), has announced details of the independent review into its activites in the light of allegations made against it in the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) report that saw Lance Armstrong lose his seven Tour de France titles on grounds of doping.
John Coates, President of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS), has been invited by the UCI to recommend the composition of an independent panel that will investigate the allegations made against the UCI in USADA’s report, published at the beginning of October.
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One of the most serious allegations made against the UCI was that the organisation covered up a positive dope test from Armstrong during the Tour de Suisse in 2001. Armstrong made a donation to the UCI, which the organisation claims was used in its fight against doping and was not accepted as a bribe.
USADA concluded that Armstrong and the US Postal team organised “the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping program that sport has ever seen”. It stripped Armstrong of his seven Tour de France wins, a move which was late upheld by the UCI.
Coates will select a three-member panel that will comprise a senior lawyer, forensic accountant and an experienced sports administrator. The three members will not have any current involvement in cycling, and will be approached and appointed by the UCI after Coates has recommended them.
The independent commission will produce its report by June 1 2013, the UCI said in a statement on Wednesday.
“We would like thank John Coates for his recommendations, which we will follow to the letter,” said UCI president Pat McQuaid.
“The purpose of this independent commission is to look into the findings of the USADA report and ultimately to make conclusions and recommendations that will enable the UCI to restore confidence in the sport of cycling and in the UCI as its governing body.”
In a separate announcement, the UCI said that it will launch a ‘wide-ranging’ stakeholder consultation process to review the USADA report and to recommend how the UCI can ‘restore confidence in the sport of cycling’.
This will be completely separate to the independent review and will include the input of anyone involved in professional cycling – which should include organisers, governing bodies, and representatives of teams and riders.
“All stakeholders will be invited to participate in this consultation exercise, which will also look at measures to continue the process of globalising the sport, encourage even wider participation and ways to make the sport even more interesting for spectators,” said McQuaid.
“We must all work together to recover from the damage which the Armstrong affair has undoubtedly done to our sport, the sport we all love and cherish.”
“We saw this year in the Olympic Games in London that cycling is one of the world’s most popular sports, both for participants and spectators, and it has a bright future. This is what the consultation exercise will focus on.”