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The UCI publishes Cycling Independent Reform Commission report

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The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has today published the report and recommendations of the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC). The CIRC’s Terms of Reference were to investigate “the causes of the pattern of doping that developed within cycling and allegations which implicate the UCI and other governing bodies and officials over ineffective investigation of such practices”. A copy of the 227 page CIRC report is attached.

The CIRC was established by the UCI in January 2014 and has since completed a rigorous 13 month investigation wholly independent from the UCI. The CIRC was chaired by Dr. Dick Marty, a former Swiss State Prosecutor, supported by two Vice-Chairs - Prof. Ulrich Haas, an expert in anti-doping rules and procedures and Mr. Peter Nicholson, a former military officer who specialises in criminal investigations.

During its investigation, the CIRC undertook 174 face-to-face interviews, some of which lasted for several days and took place in different locations across the world. Those interviewed included UCI personnel, teams, federations, medical practitioners, riders/former riders, anti-doping organisations, national law enforcement agencies, sponsors, event organisers and journalists. A full list of interviewees who have agreed for their names to be disclosed is present on page 224 of the report.

Commenting on the CIRC report and its recommendations, UCI President Brian Cookson said:

I would like to thank Dick Marty, Ulrich Haas, Peter Nicholson and CIRC’s staff for all their extensive work in producing such a comprehensive and rigorous investigation. Very few, if any sports, have opened themselves up to this level of independent scrutiny and while the CIRC report on the past is hard to read for those of us who love our sport, I do believe that cycling will emerge better and stronger from it. I made a promise before I was elected that I would ensure as a priority that under my presidency a respected and fully independent commission would investigate the UCI’s past and I am pleased to have delivered on that promise, on time and on budget. We gave the CIRC access to all our files, a complete copy of all the electronic data which existed when I was elected and full co-operation from all our staff. I said from the outset that the UCI would publish the CIRC’s report and recommendations to ensure transparency and that is exactly what we have done today."

It is clear from reading this report that in the past the UCI suffered severely from a lack of good governance with individuals taking crucial decisions alone, many of which undermined anti-doping efforts; put itself in an extraordinary position of proximity to certain riders; and wasted a lot of its time and resources in open conflict with organisations such as the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). It is also clear that the UCI leadership interfered in operational decisions on anti-doping matters and these factors, as well as many more covered in the report, served to erode confidence in the UCI and the sport."

Since I became President in September 2013, the UCI has not only completed this unprecedented exercise of openness and transparency, it has also:

  • Commissioned a full audit of its anti-doping operations by the Institute of National Anti-Doping Organisations (iNADO) and implemented their recommendations;
  • Established a strict internal governance process to ensure that the President or administration cannot interfere in operational anti-doping matters and that there is external oversight of all key decisions plus an audit trail of results management;
  • Ensured the complete independence of the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) to plan and execute anti-doping tests on behalf of the UCI;
  • Ended the conflicts with key stakeholders and established a much stronger working relationship with WADA, USADA and other NADOs whose support and cooperation is essential for us to be effective in our anti-doping efforts;
  • Established an that will allow consistent, clear and fast decisions on cases for international riders, putting the UCI in line with almost all other international federations and ending the process whereby cases were referred to the rider’s national federation for judgement;
  • Worked with the professional teams and independent experts to establish clear new internal operational requirements for teams (the “cahier des charges”) to ensure that all riders are properly supported and supervised and that the right structures are in place to prevent riders doping;
  • Actively established an unprecedented number of intelligence and information sharing agreements with National Anti-Doping Agencies;
  • Introduced new Anti-Doping Rules with longer sanctions (4 rather than 2 year standard ban) and stricter obligations in line with the new WADA Code and put in place a new regulatory framework (the “Testing and Investigation Regulations”) which further promotes effective and qualitative testing and investigation;
  • Introduced innovative and far reaching sanctions on teams with riders who are found to have doped (suspension from competition plus a fine of 5% of the team budget);
  • Invested more than ever in staffing and resources allocated to anti-doping;
  • Launched a process of revising and updating the UCI Constitution in order to improve the good governance and transparency of the UCI at all levels, especially with regards to the UCI Presidential election;
  • Established important new governance measures including a newly reinvigorated Ethics Commission, a Remuneration Committee to set senior remuneration and delivered on the commitment to provide more transparency on financial matters."

I am absolutely determined to use the CIRC’s report to ensure that cycling continues the process of fully regaining the trust of fans, broadcasters and all the riders that compete clean. I committed to this process before I was elected President and I'm pleased to see the CIRC complete its work. I shall be giving some more detail on how we will implement recommendations from the report during the course of this week."

Lastly, I would like to thank WADA whose support was essential in establishing the CIRC and also all the NADOs, in particular USADA, who have contributed to the strengthening of anti-doping in cycling.

The full report can be seen here.

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