UCI still awaiting receipt of Independent Commission doping report, details to be released in March

by Shane Stokes


Although the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC)’s inquiry into the Lance Armstrong/US Postal Service affair, the UCI’s conduct around that time and doping in general is scheduled to be completed by the end of this month, the UCI has confirmed that the final outcome of that might not be disclosed for a couple more weeks yet.

The governing body indicated to CyclingTips Tuesday that it was still awaiting receipt of the CIRC report, and that its publication of the findings will come once it is able to conduct its own studies of the conclusions reached.

The precise timing will be influenced in part by how soon CIRC passes on its findings.

Speaking last week to the Guardian and Press Association, UCI president Brian Cookson warned that the report could make for uncomfortable reading.

“When you open a can of worms you find a lot of worms,” he told the Guardian at the world track cycling championships in Paris. “I think it’s going to be very interesting – there will be a lot of uncomfortable things there.

“I think there will be a lot of uncomfortable reading in it and we should all prepare ourselves for that. That was always going to be part of what was going to happen.”

He said that the UCI was committed to unveiling as much of the findings as possible. “We’ve committed to publishing the report that they give us,” he said. “We’re not going to get into a FIFA-type situation of arguing about the report. Give us something we can put into the public domain when you give it to us.”

He said that while there may need to be some redactions due to legal reasons, that people would be named where possible. He also said that it may be possible to take action against those named by more than one source as breaking regulations.

While the UCI indicated Tuesday that the report might potentially not be made public until mid-March, it clarified that it could possibly arrive sooner than that. The governing body and its lawyers will likely need to spend time analysing the findings and identifying any possible legal implications prior to their publication.

The CIRC was set up after Brian Cookson became UCI president in 2013, taking the place of the ultimately-abandoned Independent Commission set up by his predecessor, Pat McQuaid.

Costing three million Swiss Francs, it is headed by three members, namely Swiss politician Dick Marty, anti doping specialist Ulrich Haas and former Australian military officer Peter Nicholson.

Marty has a background in fighting organised crime, drug abuse, investigating alleged CIA secret prisons in Europe and illegal trafficking of human organs from executed prisoners.

Haas is a professor of Civil Procedure and Civil Law at the University of Zurich and an arbitrator for the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). He was involved in a number of past CAS cases relating to cycling, including Alberto Contador’s Clenbuterol hearing, Riccardo Ricco’s unsuccessful appeal against his twelve year ban and the successful appeal by Contador and Alejandro Valverde against the UCI’s stripping of their points.

Nicholson is a former military officer who specialises in criminal investigations in both national and international jurisdictions. His background includes work for various governments and the United Nations, where he led several war crimes investigations.

They were assisted and CIRC coordinated by project director Aurélie Merle, who has a background in sports with the IOC and LOCOG plus investigation and justice work for the UN.

In addition to the CIRC report, the UCI is also due to shortly announce the findings of an inquiry into the five doping positives at the Astana WorldTour and Continental teams.

The squad had five positive tests last year, and an audit by the Institute of Sport Sciences at the University of Lausanne was commissioned by the UCI.

While the UCI has not indicated the publication date of that report, it is thought it will arrive much sooner than the CIRC findings.

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