UCI disbands Armstrong commission
By Julian Guyer ,AFPLONDON -- The International Cycling Union (UCI) announced Monday it had disbanded the independent commission it had set up to investigate alleged involvement by the global governing body in the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.
January 30, 2013, 12:07 am TWN
The UCI said it was shutting down the commission, which only met in public for the first time on Friday, because both the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the United States Doping Agency (USADA) had refused to co-operate with its investigations and thus any report it produced would be dismissed “as not being complete or credible.”
UCI President Pat McQuaid, who attended Friday's hearing in London, said they had been left with little choice but to disband the commission after WADA labeled it a “useless exercise.”
“Over the weekend I spoke to John Fahey, president of WADA,” McQuaid said in a statement on Monday.
“He confirmed WADA's willingness to help the UCI establish a truth and reconciliation commission (TRC), as well as saying that WADA had no confidence in the existing independent commission process ... We have therefore decided to disband the independent commission with immediate effect.”
McQuaid added WADA had concluded “the UCI was not allowing the commission to conduct a proper and independent investigation,” and had, therefore, “decided not to take part and invest its limited resources into such a questionable and useless exercise”.
It was an investigation by USADA that led to Armstrong being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.
And it was comments in their “reasoned decision” regarding the UCI's alleged complicity in his drug-taking and the conduct of the American's U.S. Postal Service team that led cycling chiefs to set up the independent commission.
An inaugural procedural hearing of the three-member commission chaired by Philip Otton, a former judge in England's Court of Appeal, and also including British Paralympic champion Tanni Grey-Thompson and Australian lawyer Malcolm Holmes, was suspended Friday until this Thursday.
Otton said he hoped the adjournment would allow all those involved to reach agreement on an amnesty, whereby witnesses could give evidence free of the fear of subsequent disciplinary action by the UCI.