Brian Cookson reveals members of UCI independent commission - and they're heavyweights in their fields

Members of Cycling Independent Reform Commission combine experience of investigating issues including doping and genocide

by Simon_MacMichael   January 8, 2014  

Brian Cookson at the site in Paris where the UCI was founded (source Brian Cookson Images, Flickr)

The UCI has announced the names of the three men who will form what it is calling a Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) that will investigate doping in cycling, including addressing allegations of wrongdoing within the governing body itself – one of Brian Cookson’s key manifesto pledges ahead of his election as UCI president last September.

The members of the CIRC, all three of them heavyweights in their respective fields, bring with them a wealth of experience that combines dealing with doping in sport as well as investigation into such sensitve areas as war crimes, genocide and allegations of secret CIA prisons in Europe, among other issues.

Headed by Swiss politician Dick Marty, the CIRC will also have two vice-chairmen, Ulrich Haas, a German legal academic specialising in anti-doping law and procedure and an arbitrator at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and the Australian Peter Nicholson, who has experience of leading investigations spanning national and international jurisdictions.

The panel will be assisted in its work by project director Aurélie Merle, who has previously worked within sports for the International Olympic Committee and LOCOG, as well as undertaking investigative and legal work on behalf of the United Nations.

UCI president Cookson said:  “This Commission will investigate the problems cycling has faced in recent years, especially the allegations that the UCI has been involved in wrongdoing in the past – allegations which have done so much to hurt the credibility of the UCI and our sport.

“Their work will also be focused on understanding what went so wrong in our sport and they will make recommendations for change so that as far as possible those mistakes are not repeated.”

In January last year, the Independent Commission appointed by Cookson’s predecessor, Pat McQuaid, was dissolved by the UCI amid farcical scenes as it met in London to begin its work.

Putting a similar body of inquiry, independent of  the UCI, in place was one of the central pillars of Cookson’s manifesto, and he said today that the CIRC’s name had been chosen “in recognition of the scope of their task, and to emphasise that, as a sport, we need to gain a positive outcome from its work.”

He added: “The Independent Commission has already started preparatory work and will soon be given complete access to the files of the UCI and all the electronic data which was copied as soon as I was elected.

“It will also be seeking testimony from people involved in the sport or who have been involved in the past and we are in the final stages of discussions with WADA to agree how best to incentivise people to co-operate with the Independent Commission.

“We have agreed a budget for the Commission, which the UCI will cover in full, and we have also expressed our wish that its work be concluded this year.

“Other than that, the Independent Commission based in Lausanne will operate completely independently of the UCI and will organise its work as it chooses. The Commission's terms of reference will explicitly state that the Commission will act autonomously and that its members will not receive any instruction from the UCI.

"Other work well underway includes the audit of the UCI's current anti-doping activities by iNADO who are using top staff from the anti-doping organisations of Finland and Norway for this work which will conclude at the end of the month.

“This is completely distinct from the work of the Independent Commission and is focused on assuring that our current operations are as good as they can be.

"In other ways the progress will be more subtle as we change the way the UCI works to make it a more transparent and modern organisation, one which people trust. “My vision is simple, I want us to be the best international federation in the world, a federation that merits its beautiful and enduring sport, and I want our sport to be one in which everyone – fans, participants, media, sponsors, governments – can have the utmost trust and confidence,” he added.

CIRC member biographies (provided by the UCI)

Mr. Marty is a well-known political figure both in Switzerland (as a member of the Parliament) and in Europe (as a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe). He holds a doctorate in law from the University of Neuchâtel. In 1975, Marty was nominated state prosecutor of Ticino, in which post he was specially noted for his energetic activities fighting organised crime and drug abuse. In 1987 he received an Award of Honor of the United States Department of Justice and a special award of honor by the International Narcotic Enforcement Officers Association. In 2005, Marty was appointed to lead an investigation by the Council of Europe into alleged illegal CIA secret prisons in Europe. On 14 December 2010, the Council of Europe entrusted Marty with investigating alleged inhuman treatment of people and killing of prisoners with the purpose of removal and illicit trafficking in human organs in Kosovo, involving politicians currently in power.
 
Mr. Haas, a German national specialised in anti-doping rules and procedures has been Professor of Civil Procedure and Civil Law at the University of Zurich since January 2008. He studied law at the Universities of Regensburg and Lausanne, and after obtaining his Ph.D. and qualification as a university lecturer at the University of Regensburg, he became a professor at Martin Luther University in Halle and subsequently at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz. Mr. Haas' work and research has been concentrated on international civil procedure (including arbitration), company insolvency law and sports law. He is the editor of numerous publications in these areas and has worked for many years as a consultant and arbitrator. He is a highly respected arbitrator for the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the Deutsches Sportschiedsgericht and the Deutsche Institution für Schiedsgerichtsbarkeit eV (DIS).
 


Mr. Nicholson LLM MBA is an Australian national, a former Army officer, and since then a specialist in criminal investigations. He has extensive experience as a senior investigator and analyst in both national and international jurisdictions. Mr. Nicholson was recently advising varying levels of government in Afghanistan on ministerial strategic leadership and policy development of the police forces, and on matters of governance in part to counter corruption, fraud and intimidation. Beforehand he advised the government of Pakistan on policy development in counter-terrorism issues. He was a United Nations Independent Commission Chief of Investigations in Lebanon investigating terrorism cases, and investigated crimes for the International Criminal Court in Uganda and in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was a team Leader at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and an investigator on the Srebrenica genocide case and others.

9 user comments

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I initially mis-read the heading of this, and thought...'crikey, i'm sure ther's been plenty of wrongdoing in cycling over the years, but genocide!!'

Seriously though, whenever i comment on anything relating to doping or transparency in cycling i feel a bit naive and idealistic, but you have to say that, on the face of it, this all sounds very promising.

I'll be watching with interest, but either way at least watching the dealilngs of the UCI no longer feels like watching a car crash.

Good on Brian Cookson i (tentatively) say!

ragtimecyclist's picture

posted by ragtimecyclist [117 posts]
8th January 2014 - 13:29

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Can't argue with the credentials of that panel. Proper heavy hitters in there, and it would have been interesting to see LA being questioned with them in the room!

posted by mbrads72 [108 posts]
8th January 2014 - 15:05

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Applause for Mr Cookson, so good to see positive action like this.

posted by kitkat [187 posts]
8th January 2014 - 15:25

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Really glad to see a truly independent commission set up and really given the tools necessary to FINALLY close a dark chapter in cycling. It will be very interesting to see their report in a year

posted by jarredscycling [436 posts]
8th January 2014 - 15:33

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ragtimecyclist wrote:
I initially mis-read the heading of this, and thought...'crikey, i'm sure ther's been plenty of wrongdoing in cycling over the years, but genocide!!'


Me too! I thought surely they can't be blaming that one on Lance as well... Laughing

posted by JeevesBath [86 posts]
8th January 2014 - 16:06

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Blimey, that's not going to be cheap - but money well spent I reckon. Sounds like all these people have other jobs, so let's estimate they're 50% employed on this. They're all going to be big-salaried people, so guess each of them will bill ~£100k through the year. And then you've got flights, accomodation and other expenses, as well as a legal budget. I reckon you're looking at a £750k pricetag for the commission this year.
Let's hope they get it done quickly!

andyspaceman's picture

posted by andyspaceman [211 posts]
8th January 2014 - 17:38

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andyspaceman wrote:
Blimey, that's not going to be cheap - but money well spent I reckon. Sounds like all these people have other jobs, so let's estimate they're 50% employed on this. They're all going to be big-salaried people, so guess each of them will bill ~£100k through the year. And then you've got flights, accomodation and other expenses, as well as a legal budget. I reckon you're looking at a £750k pricetag for the commission this year.
Let's hope they get it done quickly!

Maybe some of that is coming from the massive voluntary pay-cut that Brian Cookson instigated when he got the job.
Good man that Cookson. Applause

posted by pwake [264 posts]
8th January 2014 - 19:54

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city lawyers can get £500/hr, so I reckon your £100k estimate each is very light on!

posted by dbb [34 posts]
8th January 2014 - 22:13

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It has been pointed out elsewhere; as head of the Cycling Independent Reform Commission, Dick Marty should now be referred to as 'Captain CIRC'!

Grizzerly

posted by Grizzerly [113 posts]
9th January 2014 - 8:41

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