BOULDER, Colorado (VN) — The chorus of boos is growing louder.
Jaimie Fuller, the figurehead of Change Cycling Now and the Skins chairman, expressed his frustrations in his typical, cutting manner over the Union Cycliste Internationale’s course of action this week regarding its investigatory commission.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and World Anti-Doping Agency sharply criticized the UCI earlier this week because it reportedly put the clamps on a truth and reconciliation commission as a component of an “independent” review the governing body is enduring. The anti-doping bodies, and others, said the move indicated the UCI had control over its review.
“What we’ve got is we’ve got entities — WADA, USADA, and Change Cycling Now — all embracing the proposals for a truth and reconciliation process in order to give the independent commission the information they need,” Fuller said. “Look, I’m surprised because I just think… I’m staggered at how obvious the confiscation is. I’m staggered at whatever lack of sophistication is behind it.”
The UCI on Wednesday struck back at criticism over its refusal to allow a truth and reconciliation process for the review panel charged with exploring the UCI’s treatment of the Lance Armstrong doping affair, citing International Olympic Committee pressure (IOC), WADA’s own code. But in a release last night, the UCI indicated it may be willing to explore the idea.
“Lance Armstrong also rightly said that cycling is a completely different sport today than it was 10 years ago. In particular the UCI’s introduction of the biological passport in 2008 — the first sports federation to do so — has made a real difference in the fight against doping,” the UCI said Thursday following the first part of a two-part interview between Armstrong and Oprah Winfrey. “Finally, we note that Lance Armstrong expressed a wish to participate in a truth and reconciliation process, which we would welcome.”
A request for more information has yet to be addressed by the UCI.
“I am staggered because it’s so obvious what they’re doing. I can’t imagine anybody maintaining that position, because any of us would be too embarrassed to do that,” Fuller said of the UCI’s stance on amnesty. He also indicated that if the three-person review panel feels its integrity is threatened, the commission could walk.
“I know they are very sensitive about their credibility and reputation,” Fuller said.
His CCN group, meanwhile, continues to kick and scream.
“We’re agitating as much as we can. We’re working closely with WADA and USADA,” Fuller said. “If [the commission] are a toothless tiger — and what we’re seeing now, it’s crystalizing our fears. They’re being restricted from doing what they need to do … We can’t count on Armstrong coming through will all the information on [UCI leaders Hein] Verbruggen and [Pat] McQuaid … Mate, I hope he does. If he does, he’ll do the hard part of our job.”