Menu

WADA, UCI heads spar in the media over review processes

  • By VeloNews.com
  • Published Jan. 29, 2013
  • Updated Jan. 29, 2013 at 4:34 PM EDT

World Anti-Doping Agency chief John Fahey spoke out directly and harshly toward the Union Cycliste Internationale on Tuesday over the UCI’s announcement that it was suspending its independent review commission. Later in the day, UCI president Pat McQuaid responded by publishing e-mail exchanges containing his back-and-forth with WADA over the commission and an amnesty program.

The UCI on Monday issued a press release claiming that WADA had agreed to work with the governing body on establishing a truth and reconciliation process extending beyond cycling.

“However, instead of any continuing professional dialogue with WADA’s president, UCI has publicly announced by way of a press statement that WADA has agreed to work with it on some form of truth and reconciliation. This is not only wrong in content and process, but again deceitful. The fact is that WADA was awaiting a reply to the correspondence when the UCI release was delivered,” said Fahey. “WADA has not and will not consider partaking in any venture with UCI while this unilateral and arrogant attitude continues. There has been no suggestion made by WADA that it will pay for or contribute to any collaborative effort with UCI into investigating UCI’s long-standing problems with doping in its sport and its alleged complicity.”

But McQuaid, who said Monday that WADA’s refusal to take part had left the UCI with no choice but to scrap the commission, responded later Tuesday by accusing Fahey of having a “personal vendetta” against cycling.

“Mr. Fahey is saying one thing in public and quite the opposite in correspondence with me,” McQuaid said. “The UCI is perplexed that WADA has now chosen to rebuff and attack the UCI’s willingness to establish a truth and reconciliation commission, having just demanded that the UCI establish exactly such a commission.

“We have now reached this sorry juncture because WADA publicly questioned the independence of the independent commission.”

Read the full WADA/UCI email exchange, as published by UCI >>
Read Fahey’s e-mail to McQuaid >>

“I would therefore urge the president of WADA one more time to try to set his personal vendetta and crusade against cycling aside and to support the UCI in doing what is right for cycling,” said McQuaid. “Our aims are the same: to rid cycling and indeed all sports of the scourge of doping.”

Full WADA press release:
WADA is dismayed by the press release issued by UCI yesterday, both in terms of its content and its deceit.

The independent commission established by UCI was intended to review the allegations of complicity of UCI in the Lance Armstrong doping conspiracy as raised by USADA in its thorough decision. Instead UCI has again chosen to ignore its responsibility to the sport of cycling in completing such an inquiry and has determined to apparently deflect responsibility for the doping problem in its sport to others.

It has decided to terminate its own commission on the grounds that others refuse to participate, and not for any reason that the commission was precluded from operating transparently and without fear.

WADA was not part of the decision to establish such a commission; it was not even consulted. When asked to participate, WADA was at pains to point out the inadequacies of the terms of reference and the timelines. The commission’s lawyers agreed to point those out in order to remedy them. These were not addressed by UCI or the commission so WADA declined to participate.

The matters raised by WADA were:
the Armstrong case was decided and could not be re-litigated;
the timelines for the evidence were not realistic;
the process for hearing witnesses and receiving evidence had to be such that no witness feared retribution; and
the findings of the commission were to be made public immediately and not subject to any prior scrutiny and editing by UCI.

These were all rejected by UCI without discussion.

They were raised again by WADA’s president on Saturday (Jan. 26), and referred to in subsequent correspondence, but seemingly rejected without any reply in the expected fashion. The suggestion was raised by WADA that UCI puts a proposal to address these concerns.

However, instead of any continuing professional dialogue with WADA’s president, UCI has publicly announced by way of a press statement that WADA has agreed to work with it on some form of truth and reconciliation. This is not only wrong in content and process, but again deceitful. The fact is that WADA was awaiting a reply to the correspondence when the UCI release was delivered.

WADA has not and will not consider partaking in any venture with UCI while this unilateral and arrogant attitude continues. There has been no suggestion made by WADA that it will pay for or contribute to any collaborative effort with UCI into investigating UCI’s long-standing problems with doping in its sport and its alleged complicity.

Presuming the independent commission will reconvene on Thursday, as arranged, WADA intends to seek an appearance and table correspondence corroborating the facts stated here.

Finally, WADA wants to clarify that contrary to what is stated in the UCI press release WADA has never questioned the integrity and independence of the members of the commission, but solely the ability of the commission to work properly under the contract given by UCI to the commission.

FILED UNDER: News TAGS: / / / /

Stay Up to Date on Everything Cycling

Subscribe to the FREE VeloNews newsletter