The UCI has confirmed details of the anti-doping whistleblower service it has set up, saying that riders and others can pass on any relevant information to Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF).
The importance of having such a service was highlighted by the report complied by the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) earlier this year.
It stressed the importance of drawing on the information provided by whistleblowers and said it was crucial that the UCI should facilitate the receipt of such input.
“CIRC recommends that in order to encourage people to come forward with information, UCI should set up an independent whistleblower desk, where the processes and systems are fully outlined to a potential caller,” that report stated in section 3.2.2.
“Absolute confidentiality must be guaranteed. The whistleblower mechanism would deal with information related to all forms of corruption and cheating, including doping, outcome fixing, and technical cheating.
“UCI should ensure the risk of being ostracised or legal repercussions are minimised by providing structural support and help to people who come forward with material information. The attitude towards whistleblowers should be shifted to highlight the positive role they play in cleaning up cycling.”
Speaking to CyclingTips in March, UCI president Brian Cookson said that the international federation was fully committed to setting up such a service.
At that point in time he said that it was seeking an independent organisation that would run the service.
“There are bodies out there, charities or other agencies, that specialise in this kind of thing and I want to see if we can develop a partnership with them,” he stated. “So that people can have trust in it as well, so they can genuinely feel that they are not just ringing up some person at the UCI who is going to forget about it or sweep it under the carpet or whatever.
“I am sure that we can find the right organisation and we will have that in place as soon as we can. As I say, we are working on specification and we will start to look for organisations.
Things are now in place, although the UCI confirmed this week that it has decided to establish a direct link to the CADF rather than going through an external body, and that it had settled on an email address rather than a helpline.
“Since the interview [with Cookson], the CADF Intelligence Coordinator has started to work and was heavily involved in the consultation process around this matter,” a spokesman explained to CyclingTips. “We reached out to other ADOs (such as WADA, who only has an email address for that purpose) and decided that this system was fit-for-purpose.
“If necessary, the situation will be re-assessed by the end of this year.”
It referred this website to a statement on its website outlining the mission.
“For everybody to have a fair chance of succeeding in their chosen sport, that sport must be clean at all levels: from athletes, through to their supporting staff and administration. As part of the UCI’s continued fight against doping, we are giving everyone an opportunity to report any circumstance they feel may constitute a violation of the World Anti-Doping Code,” that statement notes.
“All e-mails sent to firstname.lastname@example.org will be treated confidentially by staff of the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation, the independent body mandated by the UCI to plan and carry out anti-doping activities in cycling.”
People with any information can send it to that email address.