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Intervista a McQuaid parte 2

Pat McQuaidEcco la seconda parte dell’intervista raccolta da Velonews al Presidente UCI.


VeloNews: One of the claims from Change Cycling Now, and we took this stance in our recent five-point plan to help save the sport, is that the anti-doping effort needs to be truly independent of the UCI. It could be some of the same UCI scientists, but a different division, to truly have that separation. What are your thoughts on this?
Pat McQuaid: We’d love it to be truly independent. The UCI has said that for years. We’d love it to be truly independent. We’d love to have somebody running it for us. But the fact is, the rules don’t allow us. The WADA Code states, very clearly, that the international federation is responsible for anti-doping within the sport. So the rules don’t allow us to do that. Having said that, we have created, and step-by-step we are creating, that situation.

The CADF [Cycling Anti-doping Foundation] has been set up as a separate foundation to the UCI. It has a separate board, a separate funding committee. I’m currently president of the board, and that’s something I am going to relinquish.

VN: That doesn’t sound independent.
PM: We’ll find somebody independent to be president. Having said that, with the passport, and Francesca [Rossi] presented this [to the Management Committee], WADA oversees every step of the way in the passport — every step of the way. Even if it’s not independent, as you say, we can’t make decisions in our favor, or try and hide things, because WADA sees them.

WADA oversees the collections, WADA oversees the APMU [Athlete Passport Management Unit], in Lausanne, which is independent, and it’s the APMU, which works for not just cycling, but for other sports as well, they are the ones who look at each passport; they are the ones who flag up something gone wrong, and they are the ones who, when they see something untoward, will tell the international federation to do target testing on this rider, and I think they specify whether they want tests done in competition, out of competition, tests done in the morning, tests done in the evening, they have several tests, and then they look at those results, with whatever the one that was a bit odd, and then those experts take the decision whether or not to open up an anti-doping proceeding. And that’s all done independent of the UCI.

But make no mistake about it, all international federations would love anti-doping to be taken out of their responsibility. But WADA doesn’t want to do it.

VN: What would WADA say if I asked them about the possibility of making anti-doping testing completely independent of international federations?
PM: They’ll tell you the same thing, that it’s the responsibility of each anti-doping agency.

VN: With the state that the sport is in right now, what is your relationship with the International Olympic Committee [IOC], and what is its stance on the sport of cycling?
PM: I’m an IOC member, which I think is important for the sport of cycling. And my relationship, and the UCI’s relationship, with the IOC, is excellent. I did communicate with IOC members last week on the media storm that they saw. I’ve had quite a few positive responses from IOC members saying that they support the UCI. [Former WADA president] Dick Pound came out with a very unhelpful statement some weeks ago, which worried some of our federations, about the fact that maybe cycling should be thrown out of the Olympic Games.

It’s not the first time that he’s said that. But in fairness to [IOC president] Jacques Rogge, he did an interview with [Agence France Presse] about a week ago, where he stated that he doesn’t see any reason why cycling should be thrown out of the Olympic Games, and that he supports cycling — you don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. And he knows, and he stated, that the UCI has done a huge amount of work in recent years in the fight against doping. He understands, and the IOC understand, that all of this, the Armstrong affair and all that, is dealing with a period where nobody could catch these riders — there was no test to catch these riders.

So, is the international federation, and not just the UCI, but the other international federations dealing with endurance athletes who were taking EPO, are they to blame because they couldn’t catch the athletes? Or is the system to blame?

I’m not looking to apportion the blame to anybody, but I don’t think the blame should go on the international federations. So, the relationship with the IOC is good, and it’s important that it is good. They support the UCI throughout this, and they know what we’re doing in the fight against doping. We have 1,100 athletes in our Registered Testing Pool, we do in the region of 12,000 or 13,000 anti-doping tests per year, and we have the most stringent anti-doping system of any international federation. And when you look at the sport, and the popularity of the sport… the London Olympic Games, where we brought 1.5 million people to the roadside for the road race, the track was the hottest event in the Olympic Park.

VN: Michael Ashenden put out a statement last week claiming that the UCI had not been truthful about the amount of testing it had conducted for the biological passport in 2010.
PM: Yes, they said there were some tests missing in 2010. Incorrect also, and that was explained to the Management Committee [on Friday] by [Francesca Rossi] the head of the CADF [Cycling Anti-doping Foundation]. Because of the setting up, so to speak, of the passport, in 2008 and 2009, we did an inordinate number of testing, an over-the-top number of tests, to create profiles. When we arrived to 2010, then — and I think there was some mention about older riders, and was Armstrong one of the older riders… it wasn’t an “older” rider in terms of age, it was “older” in terms of amount of time they’d been in the passport system. Armstrong, during that particular period, 2009-2010, he did something like 30-odd tests in the passport system, and his passport was ok.

What we did at that time, partly because of the fact that we did so many in 2009 and 2010, and because the passport on a lot of these riders was good, we then had to do a reduced number on a lot of them in 2010. At the same time, we had new riders coming into the system, and we had to ensure we were creating a passport for them, and then it continued on like that. So it wasn’t a question that, for financial reasons, we did less testing, it was strategic reasons that we didn’t have to do so much testing for guys who had already been in for two years.

VN: In September, at the world road championships, you said you intended to run for another term of presidency later this year. Since then, the “Reasoned Decision” has come out, it’s been suggested that the UCI was complicit in Armstrong’s doping, you’ve had the formation of Change Cycling Now, which is calling for new leadership, you’ve been publicly sparring with the head of the World Anti-Doping Agency — there are a lot of people calling for you to resign. Do you still want to be president of the UCI?
PM: I do indeed. I don’t feel any reason why I should resign. If I am publicly sparring with anybody, I’m doing it because I’m defending our sport. And I will always defend our sport, and not allow people to take advantage of that. And I will defend what we do in our sport, in the fight against doping in particular.

Since I became president in 2005, I’ve introduced many new measures into cycling. There’s been a lot of talk, coming from all quarters, that the sport has changed. Armstrong himself said it when he came back in 2009, he saw that the sport was different; that’s one of the reasons he came back. And I feel I should take a lot of the credit for doing that. I don’t see why I should be burdened with what he did, in his years, which were before my time. I can only vouch for… I can vouch for the UCI, and I have to defend the UCI throughout its history, but from the period of time since I became president, I have done nothing but work to both clean up the sport, and to globalize the sport. And that’s what I have been dedicating my time to.

I don’t see any reason, and I haven’t heard anything from any of the people like Change Cycling Now, whilst they criticize and criticize, I haven’t seen anything about what they are prepared to do which can change things. It’s easy to come up with a slogan, and have a go at people, but I think it’s unfair to the sport that so many people are prepared to do it. The UCI is an easy target, and it’s a target a lot of people like having a go at, but the UCI does a huge amount of work in developing the sport of cycling, in all of its disciplines.

Most of the focus that VeloNews readers have is on road cycling, but look at us here in Louisville, for the first time ever that a world cyclocross championship is held outside of Europe, a magnificent atmosphere out there, and the UCI took the decision to do that, to develop the discipline. And so it does deserve credit. I think most of my colleagues in the sports world, my colleagues in the international federations, and my colleagues in the IOC, see what the UCI is doing. They see what it is. Cycling was one of the most popular sports in the Olympic Games last year.

So here we are, it’s been a bad winter because of all the revelations, and the public spats with people, and this, that and the other; a lot of that is points scoring — some of it is, anyhow. There’s no doubt what was in that “Reasoned Decision,” and the activities Armstrong admitted to, and the activities his teammates admitted to, it shocked me, no doubt about it. I wasn’t aware it was like that, and I’m close to the sport. But then very few were aware. He fooled the media as well.

VN: I think a lot of people in the media weren’t shocked. A lot of people in the media suspected it, but it was very difficult to prove.
PM: It was very difficult to prove it. Even in our position, when you can’t prove it with tests, it’s very difficult to prove. Anyhow, we had the Tour Down Under last week in Australia. I wasn’t there, but I believe it was one of the best events they have ever had. The fans and the public want to deal with the sport today and tomorrow, they don’t really want to look back. They want to look forward. They are shocked about what happened, they read about what happened, but they are more concerned that the athletes today are clean, and what’s the priority for the UCI is to ensure that this culture of doping goes out of the sport. I am the first UCI president ever to admit that we have a culture of doping in this sport; I’ve been in this sport for 50 or 60 years, and I know the culture is there, and I set out to change the culture. But you don’t change a culture overnight. It takes time.

I believe we are succeeding. Even if the Armstrong affair hadn’t happened, we are still succeeding, with the passport and all that; the landscape is changing, and I think that if there’s any one positive thing to come out of the Armstrong affair, it will accelerate that change in culture within the peloton.

VN: You said that you should be given credit for the change in culture in the peloton. If you had to acknowledge one major mistake you’ve made in the last year, in particular with this intertwined mess of Armstrong, USADA, WADA, the UCIIC, amnesty, etc., is there any one thing that you would have done differently?
PM: You’ve put me on the spot there and I can’t really think of one. All I can say there is that hindsight is 20/20 vision. You’ll always find you can do things differently in hindsight. But at the time you make a decision that you feel is the best decision for the sport going forward. A lot of the things you’ve mentioned, like the “Reasoned Decision,” they were out of my hands, I wasn’t involved in them. They happened by other people.

VN: We sat down together in London, during the Olympics, and at the time, it very much seemed as though the UCI was trying to wrestle control of USADA’s case away from USADA.
PM: As I said at the time, we asked relevant questions of USADA about jurisdiction. We never really got the answers that we should have gotten. And then we let them get on with the process after that. But we were entitled to ask the questions that we asked. It wasn’t a question that we were trying to wrestle it away, it was a question that we were trying to see it done in the correct way, and that due process was done in the correct way.

VN: It seemed to you that Travis Tygart was playing by one set of rules, and the UCI was playing by another set rules.
PM: We play by the WADA Code. We have to play by the WADA Code.

VN: USADA’s publishing of the evidence in its “Reasoned Decision,” before sharing the information with the international federation — was that unprecedented?
PM: I’d say that it probably was. I don’t know, but I’d say it probably was.

VN: Do you ever speak with Tygart?
PM: I haven’t spoken with him for a while. We were supposed to have a chat this week, but he’s in Europe and I’m here. Through assistants we were trying to make contact with each other. It hasn’t happened, but we’ll probably speak when I get back [to Lausanne] next week. I have no problem talking to him. I have no problem talking to John Fahey. I have no problem talking to David Howman, or anybody, to try to make a better sport. That’s my aim, and that’s their aim, and I feel we should be working as partners. I feel it’s genuinely unfortunate that people use opportunities to criticize others publicly when they’re given a platform. I think we’re better off working privately for sport.

VN: Last week, the volley of press statements between UCI and WADA seemed to spiral out of control.
PM: It didn’t spiral out of control. We felt we had to do something to clarify our position on the independent commission, and we did it.

VN: Much of what we’ve discussed, such as the era of EPO, dates back to the time before you were president of the UCI. It’s well accepted that you are quite loyal to your predecessor, Hein Verbruggen, who is honorary president of the UCI. It’s been suggested that you could have distanced yourself more from him and what happened under his tenure.
PM: First of all, Hein Verbruggen is only honorary president, and that was a title that was given to him by the UCI Congress in 2005 in return for all the work that he did for cycling throughout his career. Since 2008, when the Olympic Games finished in Beijing, he left the UCI, and he hasn’t attended a board meeting of the UCI, he’s not involved in the policies or any of the work of the UCI. I see him from time to time, yes, because he lives in Lausanne and he’s an honorary IOC member, but he’s not involved in any of the decision-making processes that are going on today in the UCI.

So, from that point of view, I’m separate from him. As I said earlier, when I came in, in 2005, I set forth on a series of strategies, as I told you, globalization and anti-doping, and I’ve followed them right through, and it’s me that has done those, and it’s not Hein Verbruggen, or me and Hein Verbruggen, or anything like that. There are people that like to link us together, for political reasons — that’s up to them. But the reality is, he’s not involved, at all, in the day-to-day business of the UCI. Since he finished the Beijing Olympics he has stepped down from the UCI, and he hasn’t been on a board meeting since.

VN: But it seems you are linked. You both served at the UCI and you both served at SportAccord. It seems as though you were groomed to be president of the UCI after Hein Verbruggen, and you were also once poised to take over as president of SportAccord after Hein Verbruggen.
PM: Both of them are absolutely untrue. First of all, the new president of SportAccord comes in in May. I am still president of the UCI, and I will remain president of the UCI until September, and hopefully beyond. In terms of my being groomed… your question started with “it seems;” however, “it seems” is not the reality. The reality is, in 2003, halfway through Hein Verbruggen’s last mandate, he sat the [UCI] board down, just the board, and he said, “Remember two years ago, I said I was stepping down. I’m reminding you now that this is my last mandate. You, as a board, have a responsibility to the sport, to make sure that the next president can lead the sport into the next four, or eight, or whatever it is, years. I’m not involved in it. I’m staying out of it. It’s up to you guys.”

What happened then is that the European confederation, the EUC [European Cycling Union], led by the president, Vladimir Holecek — and he can support this story — and their two points where first, as Europeans, they felt the next president should be European, and secondly, if they agreed, which they did, then give us some names, let’s look at who that might be.

And my name came up at that discussion, in the European confederation board meeting, and that’s when they decided to support me. They then approached me, and asked me if I would be willing to take on the presidency. I thought about it for a while and I said to them yes, and they decided to support me. And that’s how it happened. That’s exactly how it happened. It was the Europeans who selected me, not Hein Verbruggen. He had no say in it. When he said at that meeting, “you guys, it’s up to you, I’m out of it,” then things happened like that. And that’s the reality. People like to see things differently, or say things differently. People on the attack, or on the defense, use things for strategic reasons, but that’s actually how it is.

VN: So you don’t speak with him regularly about UCI matters, concerning the past or the present?
PM: I don’t speak with him on a daily basis, or a weekly basis, about the UCI. I’ll speak with him at a SportAccord meeting, in Saint Petersburg [Russia] in May.

VN: Do you consider him a friend?
PM: I would consider him a friend, yes. He’s a guy who has obviously been in cycling all his life, so he has a desire to see the UCI prosper. But he’s not involved in any of the decisions, or any of the discussions. It’s me and my board, and my staff at the UCI that do everything.

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Intervista di Velonews a Pat McQuaid: le verità del Presidente

Riportiamo integralmente (in inglese) la lunga intervista che il Presidente UCI Pat McQuaid ha concesso a Neal Rogers di Velonews

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (VN) — It’s not been easy being Pat McQuaid.

The president of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) since 2005, McQuaid has led the sport of professional cycling during its most difficult period.

At times fiery and stubborn, while also affable and intelligent, the 63-year-old Irishman has been involved in pro cycling for all of his adult life, as a racer, a race promoter, and a member of the UCI.

The former head of the UCI Road Commission, McQuaid was elected to president in 2005 after 16 years of leadership under Dutchman Hein Verbruggen, who had essentially led the UCI after the Fédération Internationale de Cyclisme Professionnel folded into the international federation in 1989.

Verbruggen led the sport during pro cycling’s most rampant doping period, the wild west era of the 1990s and early 2000s, before a test for erythropoietin (EPO) had been developed. EPO abuse flourished during Verbruggen’s tenure as UCI president, epitomized by the 1998 Festina Affair, and he was widely criticized for being too lenient on drug cheats; prior to a reliable EPO test, the UCI simply sidelined riders with a hematocrit level over 50 percent.

However, McQuaid has overseen the sport during its most turbulent period, as revelations and admissions of doping from the past 15 years has combined with a spate of more recent scandals.

Case in point: Today, in February 2013, the Operación Puerto scandal from May 2006 continues to fill headlines and tarnish the sport’s image, and two Italian investigations, in Padua and Mantova, promise to uncover doping and money laundering activities taking place as recently as 2011. This at a time the sport is reeling from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s “Reasoned Decision,” which, when released in October, blew open the lid on systematic doping within Lance Armstrong’s U.S. Postal Service and Discovery teams from 1999 through 2005, while also alleging that Armstrong continued to cheat, by using banned blood transfusions, during his comeback in 2009 and 2010.

That allegation, made by USADA, is particularly damaging to McQuaid’s tenure over the sport, as the UCI president proudly touts the biological passport program, the longitudinal monitoring of blood values, as one of his finest achievements. No sport will ever be clear of doping, the argument goes, but the biological passport is the greatest weapon anti-doping authorities have in the fight against cheats.

Enacted in 2008, the biological passport serves two purposes: first, to present evidence of blood doping in the absence of an adverse analytical, or positive drug test — it’s impossible to test positive for one’s own blood — and also to deter blood doping simply with the presence of a proven method of detecting transfusions.

Several riders have been suspended solely on the basis of biological passport data, including Italian Franco Pellizotti and Spaniard Igor Astarloa. Belgian Leif Hoste, who retired at the end of 2011, now finds himself at the center of a passport investigation.

However, the fact that USADA claims Armstrong’s blood values from 2009 and 2010 are evident of blood doping, and that UCI scientists missed that data, brings the entire biological passport under a cloud of suspicion, particularly in light of allegations made by former Postal Service riders Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton, as well as USADA CEO Travis Tygart, that Verbruggen accepted a $100,000 bribe to cover up an Armstrong drug positive from the 2001 Tour of Switzerland. (Verbruggen and McQuaid sued Landis for defamation and received a judgment by default in October 2012 when Landis did not show to the hearing.)

Allegations found in USADA’s “Reasoned Decision” — that the UCI missed, or overlooked, Armstrong’s bio passport data, and was complicit in covering up a doping positive — as well as accusations from several riders that they were warned in advance about when UCI drug testers would arrive for surprise testing, paints a picture of a governing body more concerned in protecting its image and marketability, rather than protecting the rights of clean athletes struggling to compete.

Regarding Hamilton and Landis, in October McQuaid referred to them as “scumbags” at a press conference in Geneva, saying, “We called Hamilton in [after he failed a dope test]. He said our machines were wrong. We said ‘we are after you.’ He was positive two, maybe three times, and eventually he was thrown out of the sport. He then spends the next few years trying to prove he was a twin before he was born or something like that and prove the scientific community wrong. He loses his marriage and his money. What does he do now? Writes a book just before the USADA report is announced and is making money left, right, and center. What good is he doing the sport? He’s on a personal mission to make money for himself.”

Doping has been part of the culture of competitive cycling for decades; however, since the launch of the World Anti-Doping Agency in 1999, following the Festina Affair at the 1998 Tour de France, all Olympic Movement sports that reside under the International Olympic Committee umbrella are obligated to follow WADA Code in its mission to preserve clean sport. (Just as all national cycling federations fall under the UCI, all national anti-doping agencies, such as USADA, fall under WADA.)

The UCI launched an independent commission in October 2012 to investigate whether or not the UCI has been adhering to the WADA Code. However, the UCI disbanded that commission on January 28, instead moving towards a Truth and Reconciliation Commission with the World Anti-Doping Agency. The dissolution of the UCIIC wasn’t harmonious, however, as the commission complained that it had not received information from the UCI, while running into opposition from WADA over its Terms of Reference, which did not include a Truth and Reconciliation or amnesty process in order to protect witnesses from sanctions.

In the shadow of Verbruggen

With a UCI presidential election looming in September, McQuaid now finds himself in the unenviable position of defending both his tenure as the sport’s leader as well as the previous terms of Verbruggen, to whom McQuaid is fiercely loyal.

Both men have close ties to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). After leaving his UCI presidency — and being awarded with an honorary presidency — Verbruggen moved on to a position with the IOC, overseeing the 2008 Beijing Games. McQuaid is an IOC board member.

Since 2007, Verbruggen has been president of SportAccord, formerly known as the General Association of International Sports Federations, a Swiss entity formed in 1978 to promote communication and cooperation among various international sports federations. Following Verbruggen’s second election in 2011, McQuaid was appointed to the SportAccord Council, and until recently the Irishman was considered a potential candidate to replace his former boss as president of SportAccord.

In the years after he left his post, rumors circulated that McQuaid had, on several occasions, excused himself from important meetings, only to be spotted outside the meeting room consulting with Verbruggen by phone.

In January, Verbruggen acknowledged to Dutch magazine Vrij Nederland that the UCI had informed dozens of riders, including Lance Armstrong, over a period of years if they had recorded suspicious doping test results.

The revelation drew sharp reaction from WADA, which described the practice as entirely contrary “to the purpose of an effective anti-doping program.”

Mounting pressure

Criticism of McQuaid’s leadership has been stern, including everything from a mock Twitter account, @UCI_Overlord, with almost 13,000 followers, to a pressure group of heavy hitters, Change Cycling Now, which includes Greg LeMond, Paul Kimmage, and David Walsh.

Some critics claim that McQuaid is dictatorial, aloof, and, even worse, disconnected and oblivious to the sport’s real challenges. [In the February issue of Velo, our editorial staff presented a five-point plan to save the sport; one of those steps centered around installing new leadership. Prior to this interview, McQuaid acknowledged that he’d seen the article, but had not read it.]

Many point to the UCI’s commercial arm, Global Cycling Promotion, which is openly promoting and taking an ownership stake in pushing new event properties, presenting an obvious conflict of interest. Two new races in China — the Tour of Beijing and the Tour of Hangzhou — were rubber-stamped and given WorldTour status, meaning they carry the same weight as historic races like Paris-Nice and the Critérium du Dauphiné. The latter failed to take place in its 2012 debut season, despite appearing on the sport’s premiere calendar.

In the midst of all this, the UCI has had to contend with the possibility of a breakaway league, World Series Cycling, initiated by London-based Gifted Group that would have replaced the current UCI WorldTour.

Over the past 10 days, the UCI president found himself under attack from WADA president John Fahey, blood-doping researcher Michael Ashenden and Lance Armstrong, who called him “pathetic.” Perhaps the ultimate insult came when spectators at the world cyclocross championships roundly booed the UCI president as he presented medals to the elite men’s podium on February 2.

This all came on the heels of news that McQuaid had stepped down from the IOC’s 2020 host city selection committee, and that longtime UCI communications director Enrico Carpani would be stepping down in March, seemingly fatigued by the never-ending swirl of controversy around the sport and its leader.

Following his week of public spats with WADA, McQuaid reached out to all 101 members of the IOC, asking for support in his quarrel with WADA in a January 30 letter, writing, “We would welcome any support you can offer in underlining to WADA the importance of working in partnership and cooperation with the UCI to establish this Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”

On Friday, February 1, McQuaid met with the UCI Management Committee in Louisville, Kentucky, the site of the cyclocross world championships. Of the news to come out of that meeting was the appointment of two Management Committee members, UCI vice president Artur Lopes of Portugal, and former French federation president Daniel Baal, to work with WADA on the implementation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission as a way for the sport to put its sordid past behind.

Several national federation members in Louisville, who asked not to be identified, alluded to a growing lack of confidence in the UCI president, questioning whether he could, or should, run for reelection in September.

On Saturday, however, British Cycling president (and UCI Management Committee member) Brian Cookson, a name that has been discussed as a possible candidate for the UCI presidency, told Cyclingnews.com that he was fully supportive of the UCI’s leadership, and that the sport’s governing body was united in its approach to any possible Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

It was against this backdrop that VeloNews editor in chief Neal Rogers sat down with McQuaid on February 2 for a 45-minute interview in Louisville, which follows, in its entirety, broken into two parts. Part 2 will run on Friday morning.

VeloNews: There’s a feeling that for sport of cycling to move forward, it needs to shed the albatross of doping — Lance Armstrong, Eufemiano Fuentes, and Michele Ferrari, all of these characters — and it seems as though actions, or inactions, of the UCI are intertwined in these affairs. As an example: Hein Verbruggen acknowledging that riders were alerted about suspicious blood values. Cycling fans are having a lot of trouble understanding how that was ever allowed to happen, and it puts you in the position of having to speak for your predecessor.
Pat McQuaid: It does, yeah, for the policies of that time, if not necessarily for my predecessor. First of all, that’s no longer the UCI policy. Secondly, what a lot of people fail to do, and it’s probably understandable, is to look at the anti-doping landscape of 20 years ago, and look at the anti-doping landscape of today. It was completely different 20 years ago. You had a product which was in use, which was undetectable for four or five years. The UCI were the ones to invest in a test, and the first to use the test for that product.

So what do you do in that situation? You know a product is in use, you’re not a police force, there are no rules other than the anti-doping tests in place, and when they’re coming back negative, but you know the product is in use, the policy at that time was to inform the riders. And the UCI was not the only international federation doing that. All of the international federations at that time, I believe — I wasn’t around — but there are minutes from meetings which took place between international federations at that time discussing how to deal with it. Several international federations, including the international skating union… there was an article in the Dutch press last week, which said that they did the same thing. They warned skaters that their values were suspicious and that they would be targeted. That was a means to, number one, frighten them to stop doping… and that’s all the means you have, because you didn’t have the means to catch the guys.

It’s easy today, to sit down with the biological passport, and say, “no, we don’t warn riders.” You have the armory now we didn’t have in those days. Without criticizing the UCI policy at the time, it was the only way they could deal with it. It was a very primitive anti-doping situation. Remember, 1998 was the Festina Affair, 1999 was the creation of WADA; you’re only starting to get anti-doping tests then. The landscape was different.

VN: The UCI has lauded itself for the biological passport. Yet USADA says that Armstrong’s values from 2009 and 2010 are evident of blood doping. The UCI was running the biological passport, and there was no red flag from the federation about his values. And just last week Michael Ashenden released a statement that the UCI has not been honest about the depth of its biological passport testing.
PM: That was a subject that has come up recently, and there was some mischievous reporting going on by certain people. That subject [Armstrong’s 2009-2010 values] was explained by Francesca Rossi to the Management Committee on Friday [February 1]. He had something like 30 tests during the 24 months of his comeback. Those 30 tests were evaluated, I’m not sure if all 30 were blood tests for the passport, I’m not sure of the proportions, but anyway, all of the tests were evaluated by independent experts, including, I think, Michael Ashenden. But they would be evaluated as anonymous; they don’t know who the athletes are. And none of them, when we went back and looked at the Armstrong tests, none of them at no time did the experts say to the UCI there was suspicion, and that he should be targeted. His passport was normal.

Now, to the best of my knowledge, USADA did some tests on them as well. If they felt those tests were showing blood values that showed doping, why didn’t they open proceedings?

VN: Presumably because at that time the Department of Justice was building a case against Armstrong and the management of the U.S. Postal Service team.
PM: Maybe, maybe not. I don’t think so. If any agency, including the UCI, has evidence that they think they can take to court and win, they would do it, any time. Even if they were working with the federal investigators, if they could have nailed him on a violation, they would have done so.

VN: So you question what USADA CEO Travis Tygart says about Armstrong doping in 2009 and 2010?
PM: I do. I do question what he says, yes. Absolutely. If that was the case, why was it not part of the USADA “Reasoned Decision?” Why was it not in there?

VN: It was in the “Reasoned Decision.”
PM: Maybe it was. Maybe you’re right. But we question that, because, and it was reported to the Management Committee, [Rossi] explained the number of tests he’d had done, and the values. It’s easy to look at one sample and say, “that sample looks suspicious,” or, “that sample indicates blood doping,” but that’s not enough to open up an anti-doping proceeding against an athlete. In the passport, you need to show within the whole range that that one sample is [7min] it. To say it may be evidence [of doping], you may think, all right, but unless you have something to open up a proceeding, you can’t open up a proceeding.

VN: Do you believe Armstrong when he says he was clean during 2009 and 2010?
PM: I can’t say that I believe him or that I don’t believe him. We weren’t able to prove otherwise — so then you have to accept that he was clean during those years. Do you believe anyone when they say anything? That’s part of the difficulty of cycling today. Is anybody believed? It’s unfortunate, but that’s the situation that we’re in. But unless we can prove that an athlete is guilty of something, we have to accept that he’s not.

VN: Last week you engaged in a very public dispute with WADA president John Fahey, and over the past six months you’ve had a very public dispute with USADA CEO Travis Tygart. The perception is that the UCI is obstructing anti-doping agencies.
PM: No, the UCI is not obstructing anti-doping agencies. The UCI has a very good relationship with many anti-doping agencies, and we’ve signed contracts and agreements with many anti-doping agencies, and we’ve worked closely with many anti-doping agencies. In relation to USADA, all we did was ask some questions in relation to the procedure, early on, in relation to the USADA process, which we were entitled to do. After that, we then, as you know, confirmed the USADA “Reasoned Decision” and confirmed the lifetime sanction of Lance Armstrong. We don’t have a problem… people differ on how to do things, and how to approach things. We didn’t make it out to be a public spat. They did.

In relation to WADA last week, yes, the UCI was put into the position — regretfully, and I didn’t like to do it — where we had to publish correspondence which showed that the public position of WADA was different than the private position of WADA. Having said that, the UCI wants to work with WADA, WADA knows that, and I’ve said that to John Fahey. We want to work closely with WADA on a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to set it up and see where it goes. From the meeting on Friday, we’ve set up two members of the Management Committee [UCI vice president Artur Lopes of Portugal and former French federation president Daniel Baal] to meet with WADA and see how we can progress this.

We’re prepared to work with WADA. It’s not a question of politics, or personalities, or anything like that. I think it’s also fair to say that on the ground, operationally, the UCI works very closely with WADA. Our legal people work closely with WADA’s legal people. Francesca Rossi, of the UCI’s anti-doping department, likewise works very closely with WADA, and she’s on one of the committees. It’s a good relationship. You got the off political spat, but that doesn’t affect the working relationship.

VN: The way the dissolution of the UCI Independent Commission [UCIIC] played out over a series of days was difficult to follow. It seemed as though the commission said it was unable to get the documentation it needed from the UCI, therefore they couldn’t do their job, so then the UCI said it was going to disband the commission — the commission it had appointed to investigate UCI wrongdoing — because it couldn’t do its job.
PM: A few of your understandings there are incorrect. First of all, we had produced 16 lever-arched files of documentation to go to the commission; they were with our solicitor in London. But it was only because of the discussions that were going on between the Independent Commission and WADA, and the way that things were looking, we could see that we were being forced into running two commissions, the Independent Commission and a Truth and Reconciliation Commission — or expanding the Independent Commission to embrace Truth and Reconciliation and not know where the end is.

The reason we had given the Independent Commission… we told them they would be completely independent… well, they told us, “we will be a completely independent commission,” we wanted one, and when I first met with [Former Court of Appeal judge Sir Philip Otton] they said, “We [UCIIC] will decide the Terms of Reference, we will produce a report, and that report will go public.”

They set up all the boundaries for it. And we told them we wanted the report back by June. The reason we wanted that report back by June is to have certain control on the scope and the amount of work… not so much the amount of work they put in, but… not to allow them, to say, when the process is finished, you do a report… otherwise, it would have cost… it would have given them the possibility to run and run and run and run. And we were paying for it. So it was for budget reasons that we said, “can you do it in six months?” and Sir Philip Otton said to me, “yes, we can do it in six months.”

We got cooperation from everybody, and we get all the information before March, in April we’ll have our hearings, and in June we’ll have our report. But then we started having difficulties with WADA and USADA, and we could see that we had a lot of information from our side to give them, but they weren’t getting any information from anybody else. Athletes seemingly weren’t coming forward, no witnesses were coming forward to them. They then, as a result of discussions with WADA, the Independent Commission recommended, I think they put it in a press release, they said what is really needed is a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which meant we had to put the Independent Commission out of commission and set up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which is what we’re discussing with WADA.

VN: Do you truly believe a Truth and Reconciliation Commission can work? Do you truly believe it can provide the purge and cleanse, and fresh start, pro cycling needs?
PM: In my heart of hearts, I don’t know. I’ll be quite honest with you, I wonder. Truth and Reconciliation, maybe it’s the wrong title, because when you consider Truth and Reconciliation, you think of South Africa, and you think of two societies that created atrocities against each other and so forth. Even in South Africa, if you actually go and study the Truth and Reconciliation, there were very few amnesties, for the number of people that went and looked for them.

So, in terms of going and drawing a line in the sand, it would be good if it did, but at the end of the day, doping is about riders. It’s about cyclists. It’s a cyclist that decides to dope. And when a cyclist decides not to dope, then the doping stops. If the teams and the riders and the entourage around the teams and all that said, “look, this is it…” And I’ve said this at meetings with the 42 teams, the ProTeams and the Pro Continental teams, I’ve had them in front of me, and I said to them, “doping will stop in this sport when all of you walk out the door, and each one of you makes a decision, ‘I will do everything in my team to ensure there is no doping in my team.’ And then you start a process, of doing everything, and installing everything, and making sure your contracts are covered for doping and all that type of thing.” And if every one of them took that decision, doping in cycling is over. And there doesn’t need to be Truth and Reconciliation and all that.

VN: That may be a bit idealistic, though.
PM: That possibly is a bit idealistic, yes.

VN: However, the concept of amnesty may be a bit idealistic, as well. It’s a bit like world peace. Everyone is for world peace, but who makes the first step? Taking it from concept to reality is easier said than done.
PM: Who makes the first step… yes. Amnesty is something we’ll have to work on with WADA, they are the only ones that will allow an amnesty, and we’ll have to see within this process whether it can be done or not. My fear, and I mentioned this at the Management Committee, my fear would be that we would go into a process, which would be quite public, and I have no problem if there are public hearings over a set period of time… the media can be there to hear all the stories… the thinking is that could be difficult for legal reasons, in terms of defamation and all that… all of this comes out at once, it’s dealt with, it’s over and done with, and we move on. I have a problem if the athletes today, who are doing a huge amount in terms of the fight against doping, have to constantly suffer with this past rhetoric coming up. I don’t think they deserve it.

The athletes today, with the whereabouts they have to do, with the no-needle policy, with the biological passport, and being available 24 hours a day, I have to praise our athletes, because, and I’ve done this before… since we introduced the biological passport, four years ago now, and we have 1,100 athletes in our RTP [Registered Testing Pool], they haven’t, either individually or as a body, complained about what they have had to do for the sport. And I think they deserve great credit for that. I don’t want to see them damaged by all of this.

If there’s a process to happen, which can allow Truth and Reconciliation, or even allow current athletes to go along and say, “okay, at a certain period I doped,” because I know that a lot of them, the witnesses even in the Armstrong case, all said that in 2006 they stopped doping. When I became president in 2005, I started on an anti-doping policy — that was one of my two things, anti-doping and globalization. It is noticeable that a lot of them did stop at that time, because they knew, or they saw, that the UCI was taking a stronger anti-doping policy.

And now, with the introduction of the passport, we have the most stringent anti-doping policy in the world. And I think it’s unfair for the athletes that over the past couple of years are part of that anti-doping policy, they are suffering from the past.

The question is, do you do a Truth and Reconciliation and look back into the activities from 1999 onwards, when EPO was rampant? We know EPO was rampant. We know a large majority of the peloton was using EPO. We couldn’t catch them, and I repeat, and I don’t want to blame other people, but none of the other agencies could catch them, either.

There’s talk in the USADA report about riders being informed in advance of tests and all that. Well, I mean, if UCI were informing riders in advance of tests, were USADA doing it? Were WADA doing it? Were AFLD [French Anti-Doping Agency] doing it? Were CONI [Italian National Olympic Committee] doing it? It doesn’t tally. It doesn’t make sense that UCI would tell people in advance that testers were coming. They may have had systems in place… I think Hamilton said in his book there was a system in place, where, on occasion, if someone looked out and saw a UCI car pulling into the car park, that may have given them 10 minutes to do something, or whatever, but that’s human nature. Nobody could do anything about that. But there was no collusion. And I think even the remarks of Lance Armstrong himself said that there was no collusion with the UCI and anti-doping.

VN: Let’s talk about Armstrong. After his interview with Oprah Winfrey, the UCI issued a statement that it was happy that he had substantiated the UCI’s version of what happened, or didn’t happen, with the 2001 Tour of Switzerland test. Essentially, the UCI pointed to a man who had lied for 15 years and then came clean, to verify its side of the story. And just last week, Armstrong said that you are in “CYA [cover your ass] mode,” and called you “pathetic.” Why would he say that?
PM: I’m sure these are very emotional times for Lance Armstrong. You’ve got to understand where he is, what place he’s in… he’s in a difficult place. The fact that he might be inconsistent in what he says, from one day to the next, I don’t think it surprises anybody. It’s not a question if the UCI is in a position to cover its ass — we have no “ass” to cover — we have nothing to cover.

Again, the Swiss test… Francesca [Rossi] gave a presentation [to the Management Committee] on the biological passport, and how it works, and the controls that are on it, and have always been on it. People seem to forget that, since WADA was formed, and I think it was maybe two to three years after WADA was formed, all results from anti-doping tests — positives, AAFs [adverse analytical findings] — go to the international federations and to WADA. So WADA always knows when there is a positive. If the IF [international federation] does nothing about it, then WADA sees it straight away, and WADA either reads it and says, “what are you doing here?” or WADA can go and take the case itself.

Prior to that, results went to the national Olympic committee, prior to 2002 or 2003, and the International Olympic Committee. So if there was a positive for Armstrong at the Tour de Suisse in whatever year it was, the national Olympic committee [USOC] was aware of it, and the International Olympic Committee was aware of it. So the UCI couldn’t hide it.

That’s a story that, I’m sure — or at least it’s quite possible — that out on a bike ride, Armstrong said that to Landis, or someone like that. You have to ask yourself why. It’s not actually because it happened, but it may have been part of his psyche to say things like this, but the facts don’t back that up. Even WADA, the laboratories, are still there, and there is no positive test.

As part of this process for the Independent Commission, we contacted every laboratory in Europe, or in the world, that was, and still is, doing EPO testing. And we asked them for the numbers — because they only operate in anonymous numbers — of all cyclists that tested positive in their laboratory for EPO over the years. We have that information, which was ready to go to the Independent Commission. And Armstrong’s name doesn’t appear in any of it.

fine prima parte
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Pat McQuaid: questi i temi del dibattito individuati dall’UCI

In una lettera rivolta a tutte le parti interessate il Presidente UCI chiede di discutere sui seguenti temi e di indirizzare commenti e proposte entro il 10 dicembre, in vista della convocazione di quelli che sono stati chiamati Stati Generali del ciclismo all’inizio del 2013. Quattro i punti principali: mondializzazione, lotta contro il doping, corridori e calendario.Pat McQuaid

Thèmes à débattre
Axe 1: la mondialisation
Objectif : le cyclisme doit profiter de sa nature universelle et utiliser cette caractéristique
majeure dans le but de s’assurer un avenir prometteur. Ceci inclut identifier les tendances
territoriales et démographiques et prendre les mesures qui s’imposent afin d’attirer une
portion encore plus vaste de la population à ce sport, ainsi que de renforcer le statut du
cyclisme aux Jeux Olympiques et Paralympiques. Il est également impératif de promouvoir
les éléments socialement responsables du sport, y compris le cyclotourisme, la mobilité
durable dans les villes, l’accès pour tous et l’intégration de pratiques écologiques dans la
gestion des épreuves.
a) Rester au fait de l’évolution globale du sport au sein de la société
· Comment le cyclisme peut encourager une plus grande participation des femmes
· Identifier des tendances cyclistes émergentes au niveau national et dans différentes
disciplines cyclistes.
· Identifier les changements démographiques et les opportunités à venir au sein du
cyclisme (par exemple la croissance de l’intérêt des jeunes pour le sport)
· Comment concilier les intérêts au niveau régional et continental (y compris le
développement du calendrier de compétition).
· Comment renforcer le rôle du cyclisme dans les Jeux Olympiques et Paralympiques.
b) Le cyclisme socialement responsable
· Comment le cyclisme peut s’intégrer au, et stimuler le tourisme écologique
· Le développement de petites structures cyclistes urbaines, telles que des parcs BMX,
pour encourager des activités saines pour les jeunes
· Les priorités écologiques pour la gestion des épreuves
· Rendre le cyclisme accessible à tous
Axe 2 : la lutte contre le dopage
Objectif : la consultation devrait débattre de la sévérité des sanctions relatives au dopage, ainsi que
des méthodes d’éducation, non seulement pour les coureurs mais aussi pour leur entourage. Les
discussions porteront également sur les méthodes de contrôle antidopage et leur impartialité. Un
autre facteur important dans la lutte contre le dopage est le partage de l’information avec d’autres
organismes luttant contre le dopage, la police et diverses autres autorités. Les outils de prévention
essentiels comprennent notamment le développement d’un « écosystème » centré sur les athlètes
dans un contexte favorable du point de vue économique, social, éducatif et culturel.
a) Education et prévention
· Procédés les plus efficaces pour informer les coureurs sur les pratiques exemplaires
· Comment éduquer au mieux l’entourage des coureurs
· Identifier les situations à risque
· Rassembler des astuces, des informations ou des indicateurs (concernant les coureurs,
les médecins, les nouvelles substances, les entraîneurs, les habitudes et comportements
liés au dopage, les ex-dopés, etc.)
· Normaliser les modèles d’équipes (structure, fonctionnement, composition,
développement des trajectoires professionnelles des athlètes de manière à fournir des
alternatives par rapport à la performance, politique de recrutement pour l’entourage,
· Développer les pratiques exemplaires pour un « écosystème » centré sur les athlètes
(économique, social, formateur, culturel, etc.)
· Encourager les pratiques exemplaires
b) Coopération avec d’autres organisations de lutte contre le dopage – ainsi qu’avec la police,
les autorités nationales et les organisations gouvernementales et non-gouvernementales.
· Outils, méthodes et impartialité des contrôles antidopage
· Partage des informations
c) Sanctions (inciter l’AMA à adapter le code AMA)
· Longueur des périodes de suspension
· Sévérité des amendes/dommages et intérêts
· Introduction de sanctions pour les membres de l’entourage (ou autres)
Axe 3: les coureurs
Objectifs : ces discussions ont pour objet d’assurer une relation plus étroite entre l’UCI et les coureurs,
en particulier pour permettre à l’UCI d’entendre et de comprendre leurs préoccupations. En raison de
leurs engagements, toute discussion impliquant les coureurs et leur entourage doit être organisée en
fonction de leur disponibilité, c’est-à-dire en dehors de la compétition.
a) Reprendre contact avec les coureurs
· Explorer les opportunités supplémentaires ouvertes à l’UCI de rencontrer des coureurs et
de prendre connaissance de leurs préoccupations (soit par contact direct, soit par
l’intermédiaire d’un organisme représentatif).
· Comment s’assurer du transfert opportun d’information pertinente et de qualité aux
· Augmenter le nombre de coureurs qui jouent un rôle central au sein des différentes
instances cyclistes et organisations de coureurs
· S’interroger sur la création d’un rôle de « personne de contact permanente » sur le
· Comment promouvoir l’image et le statut des coureurs
· Explorer la possibilité d’introduire une licence UCI
· Revoir le système d’attribution de points
· Proposer des mesures visant à garantir de meilleures conditions de travail ainsi qu’une
couverture légale satisfaisante (salaire minimum, rupture de contrat, assurances,
retraite, etc.)
· Comment améliorer la sécurité lors des courses
· Renforcer les sanctions pour violation des règles antidopage
· Développement d’une assistance téléphonique confidentielle pour les coureurs, qui sera
mise sur pied en janvier 2013
b) Reprendre contact avec les organisations de coureurs
· S’attaquer aux problèmes concernant la structure du calendrier
· Explorer des manières d’analyser la qualité des épreuves WorldTour UCI
· Comment augmenter l’attractivité des courses pour les spectateurs
· Déterminer des critères pour les instances/organisations qui représentent les coureurs
· Organiser des consultations avec des experts « neutres » sur différents thèmes
(reconversion, gestion, suivi de la nouvelle carrière)
Axe 4: le calendrier
Objectifs : les différents calendriers cyclistes doivent être passés en revue de tous les points de vue :
les coureurs, les équipes, les organisateurs, les hommes, les femmes, les professionnels, les coureurs
continentaux, les médias, le grand public. La consultation débattra également des règlements de
participation, des classements, des salaires, du système de points, etc.
a) Les organisateurs d’épreuves
· Le(s) format(s) et la mondialisation des compétitions de cyclisme professionnel sur route
· Le développement du cyclisme féminin
· Comment développer au mieux l’essor du calendrier des équipes femmes Elite
· La composition et la durée des différents calendriers cyclistes
· Les relations entre le cyclisme professionnel (1ère et 2e division) et le niveau continental
(3e division)
· Le classement
· Quels devraient être les objectifs stratégiques pour le développement du sport, par ex. la
stabilité des équipes/épreuves ; rendre les compétitions plus passionnantes ; et la
mondialisation du cyclisme
· Les nouvelles technologies devraient-elles être autorisées, et si oui, lesquelles ?
· Comment maximiser la couverture médiatique du cyclisme
· Proposé de nouvelles courses et épreuves pro
b) Les participants aux épreuves
· Les systèmes d’équipes
· Les règlements de participation
· Un fair-play financier accru – salaire maximum/minimum
· Le système de points
· Le partage des revenus

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UCI: nominati i tre componenti della Commissione che dovrà esaminare il dossier USADA

Sir Philip Otton

Sir Philip Otton

John Coates, president of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport, selected the three-member commission announced today. Former Court of Appeal judge, Sir Philip Otton will chair the commission. He will be assisted by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, a Peer member of the U.K. House of Lords and Paralympic champion, and by Australian lawyer, Malcolm Holmes QC.

The UCI will fund the commission and said its members will act independently. The commission will be able to examine “without limitation” relevant documents in possession of current and former UCI staff, including McQuaid, former president Hein Verbruggen and anti-doping experts Anne Gripper, Francesca Rossi and Mario Zorzoli.

A separate Terms of Reference released on Friday listed 11 points for commission to consider.

The points in brief:

1. Are the allegations in the USADA’s Reasoned Decision well founded?
2. Did the UCI know what Armstrong and his team were doing? If not, should it have known?
3. Are the UCI’s anti-doping policies inadequate or not enforced sufficiently?
4. Did the UCI have evidence of doping and did it fail to act?
5. Did the UCI fail to detect doping when Armstrong returned in 2009?
6. Did Armstrong or his team pay the UCI and if so, was it appropriate?
7. Did the UCI discourage people from speaking out?
8. Did the UCI adequately cooperate with USADA’s investigation?
9. Should dopers be able to work within cycling in the future?
10. Did the UCI face a conflict of interest in promoting cycling and investigating Armstrong?
11. Are the current controls adequate and compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC)?

McQuaid explained that the selection of the commission’s members and their scope shows the UCI means business. He said, “The UCI wants to get to the bottom of the Lance Armstrong affair and put cycling back on the right track.”

In its release, the UCI said that details of a previously announced stakeholder consultation would be announced in the coming weeks. The consultation is due to take place in the first quarter of 2013 and to look at the sport’s future.

fonte Velo News – Gregor Brown

Press release: Sir Philip Otton, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and Malcolm Holmes QC to comprise Independent Commission looking into Lance Armstrong affair


Former Court of Appeal judge Sir Philip Otton will chair the Independent Commission to look into the issues and allegations contained in the USADA decision relating to the Armstrong affair. Sir Philip Otton will be assisted by UK House of Lords Peer and Paralympic Champion Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, and Australian lawyer, Malcolm Holmes QC.

Tanni Grey-Thompson

Tanni Grey-Thompson


Pat McQuaid, President of the UCI, said: “I am grateful to John Coates, President of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport, for assembling such a high calibre and truly Independent Commission. The wide ranging terms of reference demonstrate the Commission’s determination to review fully the issues contained in the USADA report and I welcome that.”

McQuaid continued: “As I have said previously, the Commission’s report and recommendations are critical to restoring confidence in the sport of cycling and in the UCI as its governing body. We will co-operate fully with the Commission and provide them with whatever they need to conduct their enquiry and we urge all other interested stakeholders to do the same. We will listen to and act on the Commission’s recommendations.”

The Commission, which will act as an external body and will be fully independent of the UCI, ICAS and CAS, will hold a hearing in London between 9-26 April 2013. It then aims to submit its report to the UCI by 1 June 2013, or shortly after. The purpose and wide-ranging remit of the Commission is set out in the attached Terms of Reference, which was drawn up by the Commission members themselves.

The independence of the Commission is further demonstrated by its appointment of counsel to assist it as well as the need for the UCI to have its own legal representation at these hearings and throughout the process.
McQuaid added: “Some of our critics have suggested that this Commission would not be fully independent. They were wrong. The UCI had no influence on the selection of the Commission members.

“The appointment of these three eminent figures demonstrates clearly that the UCI wants to get to the bottom of the Lance Armstrong affair and put cycling back on the right track. Rather than simply attacking the UCI, our critics now have an opportunity to be part of the solution. I would ask them, therefore, to make their representation to the Independent Commission – and to start to put cycling first.

“The costs of the Independent Commission will be a significant burden on the UCI, however it is clear that only such a decisive and transparent examination of the past will answer our critics by thoroughly examining our assertion that the UCI’s anti-doping procedures are and have been among the most innovative and stringent in sport. ”

In the coming two weeks, the UCI will also be announcing details of a wide-ranging Stakeholder Consultation to look into the future of cycling and discuss how to bring in lasting improvements, as well as to tackle other issues of concern within the sport.

UCI Communication Services

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Ecco la lettera di Pat McQuaid ai corridori

L’UCI vuole istituire una “hotline” confidenziale alla quale i corridori possono rivolgersi per le questioni legate al doping. Questa e altre iniziative sono preannunciate  in una mail che il Presiudente dell’UCI Pat McQuaid ha inviato a tutti i corridori professionisti.

Una amnistia non ci sarà, dice il presidente UCI, ma la revisione del codice Wada promette nuove possibilità per il futuro. Le regole attuali già prevedono delle riduzioni di pena per la collaborazione.

Ecco il testo integrale (in inglese) della lettera del Presidente UCI

To riders ________

Sent by email only

Aigle, 9 November 2012

Ref: Presidency

I would like to take this opportunity to update you on the latest developments and decisions we have taken in response to the current crisis in our sport.

You will have seen in recent media reports that Philippe Gilbert, Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins among many others have been strong voices in telling the world that today’s cycling is cleaner than ever before. Of course, they are right. You, today’s riders not only participate in the most innovative and effective anti-doping programs in sport but above all you have understood which choice to make for your career and for your sport. The result is that our sport is cleaner.

Actually the UCI has always been a pioneer in the fight against doping, a fact recognized by WADA and the IOC among others. We pride ourselves on the fact that we were the first sport to introduce a whole range of scientific measures as tools in this fight. These include the haematocrit test, the EPO tests, the homologous blood transfusion test and the blood passport, which I do not need to tell you about, as you are in the front line and have been overwhelmingly supportive of these initiatives. We are aware that this extensive anti-doping program causes much inconvenience for you, and we thank you for having accepted the hassle for the greater good of cycling.

Nevertheless, when we read in the USADA dossier that Lance Armstrong and others were able to use doping throughout their careers, we have to admit that the tests provided by the scientific community were simply not adequate enough to combat the problem.

Therefore we must all continue to work to keep improving the culture in cycling through education, prevention and as far as you are concerned by making the one choice that counts. At the end of the day it is you the riders who have the ultimate say about whether our sport is clean.

Naturally, we need to do more to ensure that the UCI is as accessible as possible, and in particular to you the riders, should you wish to discuss issues or concerns relating to doping. That is why, during the coming weeks, also after a small time frame to set up the logistical side, the UCI will be looking into establishing a new open line – a confidential ‘hotline’. We will be sending more information about this once in place. I know that it will take some time to build trust and confidence in this new line of communication, but I am confident that, with the best intentions from both sides, we can build that trust. And by doing so, we will accelerate the change in culture that we need in our sport.

We are aware that some riders have complained publicly that despite having shared knowledge with the UCI, there was an inadequate follow up. I would like to take this opportunity to assure you that the UCI did act on information provided in the past and it will always do so in the future, within the bounds of what is legally feasible.

Clearly the UCI has to work within the rules and in particular in accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code. At this time the rules do not allow general amnesties but the current review of the World Anti- Doping Code may provide different possibilities in the future. The rules do currently allow reduced penalties. We are aware, and doing the utmost to address your proposals/needs in the effort to do the best by our sport.

As far as repairing the reputation of our sport, I would like to add that the UCI has listened to the world’s reaction to the Lance Armstrong affair and it has taken – and will continue to take – decisive steps in response to all matters raised.

To make sure that the UCI and cycling can move forward with the confidence of all parties, we are now establishing a fully Independent Commission to look into the findings of the USADA report and make recommendations to enable the UCI to restore confidence in the sport of cycling. John Coates, the President of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS), has agreed to recommend the composition and membership of the Independent Commission. The UCI has already begun contacting the people Mr. Coates has nominated. The names of the panel members will be announced as soon as the Commission is convened. The Commission’s final report and recommendations will be published no later than 1 June 2013 – and you can be confident that the UCI will take whatever actions are deemed necessary to put cycling back on track. We are confident that the Commission will conclude that the UCI has been one of the strongest of all sporting federations in fighting doping in sport for many years.

As part of the effort to eradicate doping from our sport the UCI has made a considerable investment in education and implementation of the True Champion or Cheat program, the ‘no needle policy’, the ethical evaluation as part of teams’ registration and the modules in the Sports Directors training programme. These are all measures to achieve the necessary changes in the culture of our sport.

Finally, while the Independent Commission carries out its work, I feel it is also important that UCI works on restoring the credibility of our sport. I have decided that, during the first quarter of 2013, the UCI will set in motion a wide-ranging consultation exercise involving all cycling’s stakeholders to tackle issues of concern within the sport and work together to build a bright future for cycling.

The UCI will welcome your participation in this consultation, which will also look at how we can continue the process of globalising the sport, encourage wider participation and take measures to make the sport even more interesting for spectators.

This is not the first time cycling has reached a crossroads. Nor is it the first time it has had to engage in the painful process of confronting its past and beginning afresh. It will do so again with renewed vigour. Its stakeholders and fans can be assured that cycling will find a new path forward.

This summer in London, we saw that cycling is one of the world’s most popular sports. Its future will be defined by you the current generation of riders, who have proved that you can compete and win clean. In December, I will be meeting all first and second division teams to address the issues which will ensure a clean, anti-doping culture going forward.

Together, we can maintain cycling’s popularity and ensure its bright future.

Yours faithfully,

Pat McQuaid

President, UCI

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Riforma del ciclismo: le idee dell’UCI in un comunicato che svela le intese già raggiunte con Bakala, alcuni gruppi sportivi e organizzatori.

Leggi il comunicato UCI (in inglese) sul progetto di riforma del ciclismo mondiale proposto dal miliardario Bakala e dall’UCI. Il protocollo d’intesa è già stato firmato dall’UCI con alcuni soggetti (quali oltre al proprietario della Omega Pharma-Quickstep?) per una joint venture che gestirà il nuovo calendario.

UCI statement following media reports on reform of the professional road cycling calendar

The International Cycling Union confirms that it has been in discussions with Omega Pharma-QuickStep owner Zdenek Bakala and his business partner Bessel Kok since late 2011 about possible development of the professional road cycling calendar. These discussions have included their potential financial investment in a new joint venture company with the UCI and other cycling stakeholders that would promote and organise elements of this new calendar. The UCI has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with them as the initial investors in the joint venture and will now enter into extensive dialogue with the teams and race organisers before any final agreement is concluded.

On Wednesday 8 November 2012 the UCI announced a wide-ranging consultation “A bright future for cycling” that will involve all the stakeholders in the sport and which will take place in the first quarter of 2013. This consultation will have a considerable bearing on this proposed joint venture and the future road cycling calendar.

No agreement has been reached on the reforms that will take place to the calendar and as such any media reports about the future of the calendar are pure speculation at this stage. However, the UCI will retain full control over the calendar, including sporting and technical elements. The UCI and the investors are also committed to ensuring that the final structure of the joint venture will avoid conflicts of interest.

Commenting on this, UCI President Pat McQuaid said: “Improving the professional road cycling calendar for spectators, cyclists, teams, organisers and sponsors is a priority for the UCI. Cycling is one of the world’s most popular sports and we are committed to take this to an even higher level. In Zdenek Bakala and Bessel Kok we have cycling fans who have already done much for the sport but who want to invest further. That demonstrates the confidence they have in cycling and we are keen to partner with them and others. We look forward to making a formal announcement on this as soon as possible next year.”

UCI Communications Service

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UCI: la Commissione indipendente sul caso Armstrong avrà tre membri

Sarà tutta svizzera e verrà nominata dall’UCI  la commissione indipendente che l’UCI stessa ha annunciato di voler istituire per valutare i comportamenti passati, delle istituzioni ciclistiche e delle persone fisiche, emersi a seguito del dossier USADA sul caso Armstrong.

La commissione avrà tre membri: un avvocato di esperienza (che sarà anche il Presidente), un contabile giuridico (indicato dal Presidente della Commissione) e un amministratore sportivo.  La nomina avverrà a breve, il rapporto finale della Commissione è previsto per il giugno 2013.

Leggi qui sotto il comunicato ufficiale dell’UCI

Titre: Mise à jour sur la constitution et la composition de la Commission indépendante
Date: 07.11.2012
L’Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) a annoncé aujourd’hui qu’elle a demandé conseil à John Coates, le Président du Conseil International de l’Arbitrage en matière de Sport (CIAS), quant à la constitution et composition de la Commission indépendante.
Lors de la réunion de son Comité Directeur le 26 octobre, l’instance dirigeante du cyclisme a décidé de constituer une Commission externe totalement indépendante pour étudier les différents enjeux   et allégations figurant dans la décision de l’USADA rendue dans l’affaire Armstrong.
La Commission indépendante sera composée de trois membres : le premier (son Président) sera un avocat expérimenté de renom, le deuxième sera un juricomptable recommandé par le Président de la Commission et le troisième sera un administrateur sportif chevronné. Les trois membres seront indépendants du monde du cyclisme.
Une fois nommés, seuls les membres de la Commission définiront le cahier des charges et l’étendue  du mandat de la Commission indépendante. L’UCI a établi un cahier des charges préliminaire qui aborde les enjeux principaux soulevés par le rapport de l’USADA sur Lance Armstrong. M. Coates a déjà recommandé un nombre de juristes expérimentés qui pourraient assurer la présidence de la Commission indépendante et a également identifié des administrateurs sportifs.

L’UCI a déjà contacté plusieurs des personnes suggérées par M. Coates afin d’établir leur disponibilité. Les noms des membres seront annoncés aussitôt que la Commission sera formellement constituée.
L’UCI s’est engagée à ce que le rapport final de la Commission et ses recommandations soient publiés au plus tard le 1er juin 2013.

C’est en sa qualité de chef de l’institution supervisant le Tribunal Arbitral du Sport (TAS), la plus haute juridiction sportive, reconnu comme indépendant et impartial par le Tribunal fédéral suisse, que le Président du CIAS fut consulté pour recommander l’établissement et la composition de la Commission indépendante.
Le Président de l’UCI, Pat McQuaid, a déclaré: « Nous voudrions remercier John Coates pour ses recommandations que nous suivrons à la lettre. Le but de cette Commission indépendante est d’étudier les constatations mises en évidence par le rapport de l’USADA et, à terme, de tirer des conclusions et d’établir des recommandations qui permettront à l’UCI de restaurer la confiance dans le cyclisme ainsi que dans l’UCI en tant que son instance dirigeante. »
M. McQuaid a poursuivi: « Le cyclisme est un des sports les plus populaires au monde, tant du point de vue des participants que des spectateurs ;  il a un avenir prometteur. Ceux qui façonneront cet avenir font partie de la génération actuelle de coureurs qui ont choisi de démontrer que l’on peut concourir et triompher sans tricher. »

Service Communication UCI

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UCI: nel 2013 una consulta aperta a tutte le componenti del ciclismo

Ecco il comunicato odierno dell’UCI in cui si annnuncia, per i primi mesi del 2013, l’istituzione di una consulta del ciclismo che dovrà affrontare, nelle intenzioni del Presidente Pat McQuaid, le problematiche legate al doping e alla perdita di fiducia nel ciclismo, ma anche quelle storicamente care all’UCI : globalizzazione e spettacolarizzazione.

La novità è in un termine: si parla di stakeholder (le parti interessate), quindi di un consesso inclusivo che vuole ascoltare tutte le componenti del ciclismo, mentre finora al tavolo di discussione l’UCI aveva riconosciuto solo gli shareholder (letteralmente azionisti, ma più genericamente portatori di interessi- perlopiù economici). Un cambio di rotta forse imposto dalle critiche alla deriva business oriented dell’istituzione internazionale.

Title: UCI announces stakeholder consultation
Date: 07.11.2012
UCI President Pat McQuaid today announced that cycling’s governing body is to launch a wide-ranging consultation exercise involving all the stakeholders in the sport.

The consultation will take place separately from the external Independent Commission, which is tasked with looking into the findings of the USADA report on the Lance Armstrong affair, as well as making recommendations that will enable the UCI to restore confidence in the sport of cycling.

The consultation, which will be launched in the first quarter of 2013, will instead look to the future of the sport – and discuss how to bring in lasting improvements to tackle issues of concern within cycling and work together to build a bright future.

Pat McQuaid said: “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. He continued: “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. “While it is absolutely right that the Independent Commission investigates the past and makes recommendations for the future around the issues of doping, our sport is about so much more than that. “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.”

Further details of the consultation will be announced before the end of the year.


UCI Communications Service