WADA Slams UCI Over Closing The Armstrong Doping Hearing

Lance Armstrong_2011_headshot

LONDON, Jan 29, 2013 – The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accused
cycling’s world governing body of “deceit” on Tuesday following its decision
to disband its own independent commission into the Lance Armstrong drugs
scandal.

WADA’s damning criticism of the International Cycling Union (UCI) came as
the independent commission itself issued a statement Tuesday saying a lack of
cooperation by the UCI and other interested parties had made its work
“impossible”.

Monday saw UCI president Pat McQuaid announce the closure of the
independent commission after protracted argument about its powers and whether
witnesses would be granted an amnesty protecting them from subsequent
disciplinary action.

The commission had been created in response to allegations by the United
States Anti-Doping Agency — whose inquiry led to Armstrong being stripped of
his seven Tour de France titles — that cycling officials had been complicit
in the American’s cheating.

Irishman McQuaid, UCI president since 2005, said Monday the commission was
being scrapped in favour of a “truth and reconciliation process” (TRC), which
had the support of WADA.

However, WADA president John Fahey denied this Tuesday, accusing the UCI of
being “determined to apparently deflect responsibility for the doping problem
in its sport to others”.

Fahey added: “UCI has publicly announced that WADA has agreed to work with
it on some form of truth and reconciliation. This is not only wrong in content
and process, but again deceitful.”

Meanwhile a commission statement on Tuesday put pressure on McQuaid by
saying: “Pat McQuaid stated that the UCI ‘will cooperate fully with the
commission’… and urged all other interested stakeholders to do the same.

“Neither the UCI nor interested stakeholders have provided sufficient
co-operation to enable the commission to do its job.

“This failure to cooperate makes our task impossible.”

But McQuaid, who said Monday that WADA’s refusal to take part had left the
UCI with no choice but to scrap the commission, responded later Tuesday by
accusing Fahey of having a “personal vendetta” against cycling.

“Mr Fahey is saying one thing in public and quite the opposite in
correspondence with me,” McQuaid said.

“The UCI is perplexed that WADA has now chosen to rebuff and attack the
UCI’s willingness to establish a truth and reconciliation commission, having
just demanded that the UCI establish exactly such a commission.

“We have now reached this sorry juncture because WADA publicly questioned
the independence of the independent commission.

“I would therefore urge the president of WADA one more time to try to set
his personal vendetta and crusade against cycling aside and to support the UCI
in doing what is right for cycling.

“Our aims are the same: to rid cycling and indeed all sports of the scourge
of doping.”

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