UCI made our job 'impossible'

Jan 30, 2013, 09:44 IST | AFP

The disbanded independent commission set up by the International Cycling Union (UCI) to look into the Lance Armstrong doping scandal said yesterday its work had been made "impossible"

In its first public response to being closed on Monday, the commission issued a statement bemoaning a lack of cooperation by the UCI and confirmed its second public hearing, scheduled for yesterday, would not now take place.

“Neither the UCI nor interested stakeholders have provided sufficient cooperation to enable the commission to do its job,” the statement said.

“This failure to cooperate makes our task impossible. Therefore, the proposed hearing on 31 January 2013 will not take place.”

The UCI shut down the commission, whose three members included British Paralympic champion Tanni Grey-Thompson, after arguments over its powers and whether witnesses testifying before it would receive an amnesty from any subsequent punishment.

Instead the UCI said it now wanted to set up a truth and reconciliation commission, which it hoped it would have both the support of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the United States Doping Agency (USADA).

The independent commission agreed yesterday a TRC represented a “once and for all chance” to break the “code of silence” enveloping doping in cycling.

However, they questioned the competence of all those now involved and whether any new process had to lead to their “termination”.

“The commission remains concerned as to WADA’s and the UCI’s ability to agree the scope, timing and structure of the TRC and also whether the T and R process is sufficiently advanced to justify UCI’s termination of the inquiry.”

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