The International Cycling Union (UCI) today announced that it aims to establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to look at doping in professional cycling. The UCI made the announcement at the first public hearing of the Independent Commission established to investigate the allegations made against the UCI in the recent USADA reasoned decision on Lance Armstrong and the United States Postal Service (USPS) team. The Independent Commission, which was established on 30 November 2012, is chaired by the eminent former Court of Appeal judge Sir Philip Otton, and includes the UK House of Lords Peer and Paralympic Champion Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and the Australian lawyer Malcolm Holmes QC.
The UCI will seek to jointly develop with WADA the legal framework for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, including providing for an amnesty programme. The UCI will share a first draft of this framework with WADA no later than Monday. The aim will be to announce the final format of the Commission around the end of March. The amnesty programme will need to be approved by the WADA Foundation Board.
The UCI also committed to update the Independent Commission on its discussions with WADA before a second public hearing next Thursday.
Pat McQuaid, President of the UCI, said: “We have listened carefully to the views of WADA, USADA and cycling stakeholders and have decided that a truth and reconciliation process is the best way to examine the culture of doping in cycling in the past and to clear the air so that cycling can move forward. In addition to contact between our lawyers about establishing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission I spoke to the Director-General of WADA earlier this week and I will be speaking to its President over the weekend. I welcome the opportunity to work in partnership with WADA on this.
As I have said many times, when I became President of the UCI in 2005, the fight against the culture of doping was – together with globalisation of our sport – my top priority. The UCI’s anti-doping procedures are and have been among the most innovative and stringent in sport including being the first federation to introduce the blood passport in 2008. I hope the lessons learned from the truth and reconciliation process will help in particular to educate young riders and to help eradicate doping in its entirety from cycling.”