The UCI's Independent Commission is bogged down in disagreement and turmoil over the terms of reference of its inquiry, the UCI at loggerheads with WADA and USADA and Change Cycling Now (CCN) over the federation's refusal to cooperate with a Truth and Reconciliation process.
The Commission states today: "It is of great regret to the Commission that the UCI, WADA and USADA have not been able to reach agreement to a Truth and Reconciliation process, and that WADA, USADA and CCN have indicated to the Commission that they do not wish to participate in the Inquiry on the present Terms of Reference."
Appointed on 30 November 2012, the commission was formed in the wake of Lance Armstrong's towering fall from grace in a case relevant to all world-class sport.
As the IOC suggests that cycling is among sports under threat of being dropped from the Olympics and on the eve of a broadcast in which Oprah Winfrey interviews the shamed US cyclists (a doping confession hinted at after filming took place in Texas on Tuesday), the UCI's commission stated: "Various parties have said to the Commission that the Inquiry ought to include a Truth and Reconciliation process, with a full or partial amnesty being offered to riders, team management, or others involved in professional cycling, who confess to past involvement in doping. Representations to that effect have been made by Change Cycling Now (CCN), the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)."
The Commission, in its efforts to gather evidence, proposed a truth and reconciliation process but some of the biggest players in anti-doping have failed to agree, some asking for further information on the scope of the rems of reference for the inquiry.
In its statement today, the Commission notes:
"USADA has provided the Commission with a draft Truth and Reconciliation proposal. Such a process requires the agreement of the relevant anti-doping bodies and the UCI.
It is of great regret to the Commission that the UCI, WADA and USADA have not been able to reach agreement to a Truth and Reconciliation process, and that WADA, USADA and CCN have indicated to the Commission that they do not wish to participate in the Inquiry on the present Terms of Reference.
The Commission is of the view that a Truth and Reconciliation process is desirable for the purposes of this Inquiry, and that such a process would ensure that the most complete evidence is available to the Commission at its hearing in April 2013. The Commission is of the view that such a process would be in the interests not only of the Inquiry, but also of professional cycling as a whole.
The Commission, via the Solicitors to the Inquiry, has written to the UCI’s solicitors, urging the UCI to reconsider its position.
In addition, the Commission has decided to hold a procedural hearing, to take place as soon as possible after 21 January 2013, in public, where this issue will be addressed with the UCI.
At that hearing the Commission will also consider the scope of the Terms of Reference generally, and in particular Terms of Reference #1, 3 and 9; and will consider the current state of the timetable.
The Commission is of the view that the participation of USADA, WADA and CCN in the Inquiry would assist the Commission, and it hopes that they will give further consideration to participating, and will continue to explore the possibility of a Truth and Reconciliation process directly with the UCI.
The procedural hearing will be in Central London, and the date, venue and time will be confirmed shortly.
In the meantime the Commission encourages any person who does not need the benefit of an amnesty to come forward and give evidence by contacting Geoff Steward of Macfarlanes at Geoff.Steward@macfarlanes.com."