Greg LeMond UCI presidency bid announced as Change Cycling Now summit concludes

London meeting ends with calls for UCI chiefs to step down and launch of blueprint for sport's future

by Simon_MacMichael   December 3, 2012  

Greg LeMond at Change Cycling Now summit (credit Gerry McManus, Split Second Images)

The Change Cycling Now summit in London has concluded today with the publication of a ‘Charter of the Willing,’ a document described as providing a “road map for the future direction of competitive cycling.” Meanwhile, one of the summit’s most high-profile attendees, Greg LeMond, has said that he plans to stand for election as UCI president but only on an interim basis until someone can be found to fill the role on a permanent basis, should his candidacy prove successful.

The Charter of the Willing, the full text of which appears at the end of this article, calls for a Truth & Reconciliation Commission to be set up to enable cycling to make a completely clean break with the past, a truly independent commission to investigate the UCI and its management, anti-doping testing to be fully independent of the governing body and a compete shift in its culture.

In a press conference that followed the conclusion of the two-day summit, a clear theme was the lack of confidence in the UCI’s current leadership with Jaimie Fuller, chairman of compression clothing firm Skins, who convened the summit, calling on the governing body’s president Pat McQuaid and honorary president Hein Verbruggen, who presided over it during the years of Lance Armstrong’s dominance of the Tour de France, to resign immediately.

Clearly there is little prospect of that happening, but speaker after speaker gave a damning indictment of the men who head up the governing body. Fuller revealed that more than ten current riders had been invited to attend the summit, but fearful of repercussions from the UCI, had declined. He also raised strong concerns about whether the independent commission established by the UCI to examine its own role in the US Postal scandal is truly independent.

LeMond, twice world champion and a three-time winner of the Tour de France, citing what he described as a climate of fear among riders and teams, disclosed that in 2006 he had approached McQuaid to call for anti-doping to be made independent of the governing body, the response being that a couple of months later, he found himself being sued by it.

Eric Boyer, until this summer team manager of Cofidis told journalists that ahead of Lance Armstrong returning to the sport at the Tour Down Under in 2009, he had written to McQuaid in his capacity as then head of the professional teams’ association, the AIGCP, to ask why the American was being allowed back into the sport without having satisfied requirements over being available for testing for six months.

The UCI president’s reply, said Boyer, called his own credibility as head of the teams’ association into question, and to question why he was getting involved in the issue at all.

Dr Michael Ashenden, who devised and headed up the UCI’s biological passport programme before leaving in April after a dispute with the governing body after it tried to add a gagging clause to his contract to prevent him speaking to the media about his work while employed by UCI and for eight years after leaving, called for Change Cycling Now’s call for independent doping controls to be implemented immediately.

He said that if that happened, Grand Tour winners in 2013 would be free of the suspicion of having doped their way to victory.

His words echoed comments from Paul Kimmage, who maintained that a change of approach to testing would remove for once and for all the suspicion from some quarters that continues to surround successful riders, such as Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins.

According to the Irish pro cyclist turned journalist, it’s the suspicion and cynicism caused by those who have doped their way to victory in the past that leads to the achievements of riders such as Wiggins being questioned, even if they are clean. Adopting Change Cycling Now’s manifesto, claims Kimmage, would go a long way towards eradicating such whispers.

Equally, however, there were calls for all riders, and the big names in particular, to fully embrace the fight against doping rather than make vague reference to the US Postal scandal that brought down Armstrong being something that belonged to a previous generation and that the sport is cleaner now.

It’s likely to be some time before we know whether the two-day meeting really marks the start of radical reform of the way the sport is run, or whether it will be recorded as a short-lived challenge to the current UCI leadership.

Certainly, those involved, while in many cases having strong reasons for perhaps looking for retribution against the UCI due to past run-ins with its leaders, are passionate about their commitment to trying to ensure a clean and credible future for the sport.

The potential game-changer might be if LeMond, who said that Change Cycling Now’s manifesto represented a final chance for the sport, were successful in getting himself elected as president of the governing body, a plan he outlined in an interview published this morning by French newspaper Le Monde.

In that interview, LeMond acknowledged that he might not be the best candidate for the job on a permanent basis, that he perhaps lacked the political acumen to become head of a sports governing body on a permanent basis, but he would be willing to take on such a role temporarily while someone of sufficient stature – he cited the name of former World Anti-Doping Agency president Dick Pound – were able to eventually replace him.

“If Pat McQuaid truly loved cycling as he claims to do,” said LeMond, “he’d have resigned already.”

Charter of the Willing

A road map for the future direction of competitive cycling

London, United Kingdom
 
2‐3 December 2012

We have established this Charter to serve as common credo to be adopted amongst the members of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the World Anti‐Doping Agency (WADA), the National Anti‐Doping Authorities and the cycling community.

This Charter is our collective affirmation of the values, principles and steps that all relevant stakeholders should adopt, practice and collectively amplify for the future of competitive cycling.

We affirm the following:

Premises

A. The sport of cycling’s credibility and reputation has been harmed by the actions and inactions of the UCI, some cycling team management and staff and some of the riders. 

B. Complicit acceptance of doping practices will have no place in cycling now or in the future.

C. For the sport of cycling to move forward from the past, it must openly discuss doping practises in an environment of truth and reconciliation. Any productive truth and reconciliation process must promote confidence, trust, unity and transparency.

D. In the process of discovering the truth, all parties need to look beyond the principles of ‘zero tolerance’. There is a need to accept and find every means to encourage parties to be totally open and transparent about the past without fear. The practise of ‘zero tolerance’ will maintain the code of silence, the omerta, due to fear of retribution and the sanction of severe penalties. We should not be afraid of the truth.

E. The transparency of the truth and reconciliation process will provide a sound basis upon which to learn the lessons of the past and design a fully collaborative anti‐doping model with all the stakeholders.

F. Once the sport of cycling has exposed the extent of past practises, dealt with the consequences and applied a period of amnesty, it must move on in an environment where doping practises are not tolerated.

Principles

1. Truth and Reconciliation Commission The sport of cycling must break the omerta and establish an independent Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). We recognise the complexity of the issues concerning the process of truth and reconciliation. We will defer to relevant authorities such as WADA regarding the process but for the purposes of this Charter, the principles set out below are ones that this Group believes in. 

The TRC should receive information and testimony from riders, team staff, sporting bodies and other interested parties concerning doping practises and the administration of doping products within the professional peloton. The TRC should gather information, bear witness to, record and conduct hearings to allow recognition of the past. 

The TRC must be independent. All teams, riders and staff should be directly instructed by the President of the UCI to participate in the TRC. Those parties that do not participate in the TRC and are later found to have been involved in doping, should be subject to sanction, to the maximum extent possible. We want to encourage all interested parties to be involved and truthful in the process.

The TRC should be empowered to recommend an amnesty to those riders, team staff and administrators who committed or were involved in doping practises provided: 

a) the party provides full and candid disclosure;

b) the party accepts full responsibility for their role in doping practises; and

c) the doping practise engaged in was for the sole purpose of seeking sporting achievement.

Any amnesty should be granted during the operation of the TRC. Once the TRC window of availability is closed, any potential opportunity to receive the amnesty will end. 

2. Independent commission to investigate the UCI and senior management An independent commission of review (ICR) should be established to investigate the UCI and receive:

a) a full brief of information from a source that is not in a position of conflict;

b) investigative resources; and

c) assistance from WADA and USADA to establish proper terms of reference.

The ICR should:

a) be empowered to discover all documentation in the possession, power and control of the UCI;

b) be empowered to seek documents and testimony from third parties relevant to ensure a complete investigation;

c) have full authority to interview witnesses;

d) request doping test data from WADA; and

e) publish its findings two months prior to an Extraordinary Meeting of the Congress. 

3. Independent doping controls The responsibility for deciding who is tested, when they are tested, and what drugs they are tested for, must reside in an independent entity that is beyond the control of the UCI.

The creation of the independent body will:

a) remove conflict of interest;

b) establish integrity and faith in the process, and

c) prevent favourable behaviour to individual parties. 

4. Cultural change in the UCI

The culture and management of the UCI must change. 

The UCI:

a) must act all times act in the best interests of the riders’ health and wellbeing;

b) must change the individuals within the UCI who have acted contrary to the interests of the sport;

c) must change the roles that have disproportionate influence in the organization;

d) must restore faith and belief in the sport;

e) must recognise fans as key stakeholders;

f) must develop a cultural shift from being exclusionary and secretive to one of transparency and openness;

g) shall develop a voice which is not dictatorial and aggressive but recognises strong leadership which promotes confidence, trust, unity and transparency;

h) shall develop collegiate and cooperative relationships with riders, teams, members, licensees, stakeholders, anti‐doping practitioners and authorities.
 

21 user comments

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Hopefully everyone gets behind this and signs the petition on their website, lets make this happen and start on the road to a brighter, cleaner and more transparent pro cycling scene Big Grin

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8685 posts]
3rd December 2012 - 18:26

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I'm sure that LeMond knows that the road to trying to get himself anywhere near the UCI, begins with persuading USA Cycling to replace their current rep with him. He has to be appointed to the UCI as a National Federation rep by them. Given the web of influence some people have within that organisation...that's his first stumbling block.

posted by Sam1 [212 posts]
3rd December 2012 - 19:00

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This is a fantastically exciting initiative. Good luck to everyone involved. The Truth commission idea is particularly compelling to allow the big names of the past to cleanse themselves of guilt and take a constructive part in the future of the sport. Cycling is on the verge of being a major international television spectacle on a par with say, Formula 1 - why not. That can only happen though if it's truly clean and competently run.

posted by LeDomestique [34 posts]
3rd December 2012 - 19:29

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I really don't understand why any of the teams need the UCI at all. Couldn't they all break ranks with the current system and set up a new one? It would enable the world tour teams to escape this entrenched 'president for life,' autonomous, self serving, self appointing farce that is the current system.

posted by petejuk [25 posts]
3rd December 2012 - 20:20

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Great news. I remember getting a fair bit of stick for suggesting Greg for president last year and it's nice to see my wild hopeful predictions coming to some sort of fruition.

Other previous thoughts such as 'isn't Jimmy Savile a bit suspect?' have come nicely true and I'm hoping 2014 will bring a hat trick with the arrest and imprisonment of that awful self pitying bully boy Alaistair Campbell - if only for sucking up so embarrassingly to Lance.

God I love being self righteous. I need to stop reading Road.CC....

Silly me. You're probably right....

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posted by MercuryOne [1031 posts]
3rd December 2012 - 20:40

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whilst I agree with the above charter, I think CCN have already lost.
I was enthusiastic when this summit was announced, however as time has gone on, and it became clear it would be closed doors, and not open then they have lost my support.
I would like to see this group have public meetings, with open forums (not twitter or facebook, those are both closed), allowing ALL fans access to see their deliberations, and access to ask questions or suggest options. Not by giving fans 'representation' from some coward from social media who won't put their name to their opinions, nor by using social media as a one way street.
Without inclusivity the feeling I get already is that they are a cabal trying to overthrow UCI and replace McQuaid/Verbruggen with their own figurehead, ostensibly supported by cycling fans whom they have equally disenfranchised. I suspect that is how McQuaid would/will spin a private summit loaded with delegates, many of whom are known to be anti UCI come election time.
I want clean cycling. For that matter I want clean sport. I want cycling to stop being about the money, and be about the sport and the fans. I want UCI gone in their current form and a new governing body who care and who listen. UCI are autocratic, distant and seem to be more about the UCI than cycling.
So whilst CCN may be the vehicle for this, they've already lost me, one cycling fan. To get me back, they need to open the doors and stop acting like the UCI.

posted by robdaykin [159 posts]
3rd December 2012 - 20:46

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Fantastic. I wish them every success.

posted by FMOAB [229 posts]
3rd December 2012 - 20:52

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petejuk wrote:
I really don't understand why any of the teams need the UCI at all. Couldn't they all break ranks with the current system and set up a new one? It would enable the world tour teams to escape this entrenched 'president for life,' autonomous, self serving, self appointing farce that is the current system.

Theteams need the UCI because all the races they ride are sanctiooned by UCI. Hey could try a breakawway, but the key is the grand tours and monuments, and unless they can persuade organisers to come with them, ethey would need to set up their own programme. Potential for a shambles...
In any case, whilst the top end is needing some work, I notice how conspicuously the attendees at the conference have NIL concern about the vast majority of the sport beyond their own professional concerns.
Quite what they would do internationally for the WHOLE sport is not even discussed.
I do agree that independent testing would be a good move, but for ALL sports. Only then will we see what is "clean" or not.
Lemond is an interesting one, an "interim" president? Then he ruins any credibility by suggest the appropriately named Dick Pound as a potential leader - the man who attacked cycling whenever he could.
Sorry, but even now it still looks like the spin off from a publicity stunt (the legal case) by Skins. Now everyone is aware of them I wonder how much longer they will be keen to fund this movement, whatever their good intentions they have a very long way to go, and a big naivety curve to climb yet. The aim is to be applauded (clean cycling) but before you suggest you can govern a sport you have to consider it all, not just the bit that exercises you at any single moment. I believe there needs to be some change too, but would prefer to see what the tribunal that is looking into the whole business says when it reports, as there are people on that who will not be easily browbeaten, and appear to have no agenda beyond finding out what they want to find out.
Right now I think the pressure needs to be sustained, only to ensure that the enquiry is a deep look into things, and reports in a meaningful way. It's all well and good shouting for heads, but you have to be aware of what is further down the track in terms of leadership - be careful for what you wish, it may come true, and you might not like the final result.

Doc

posted by doc [167 posts]
3rd December 2012 - 20:55

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I love it, I love it, I love it!!!

antonio

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posted by antonio [931 posts]
3rd December 2012 - 22:11

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Good luck to him, he cant be worse than whats already there and to be honest i think he would do a cracking job.

How about Sir Clive Woodward to be the new president. A few of you might laugh or poo poo the idea but the man is a marvel at organising and running sports organistations. Thinking

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2665 posts]
3rd December 2012 - 22:18

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I've just emailed Jaimie Fuller, in the absence of CCN having any contact info. I'll let you know what he says in response to my concerns above, if anything.

EDIT --

got a response pretty quickly, and he makes the good point that this was put together quickly, and to get the attendees it needed to be closed doors. Unfortunately no commitment to future openness. We'll see where it goes.

posted by robdaykin [159 posts]
3rd December 2012 - 22:55

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Interesting starting point. will have to think a little about this bit initial thoughts

1. All competitive cycling? one assumes professional and non professional and all disciplines or are we talking road racing?

2. Change of UCI leadership and no role for UCI in doping control, yes a clean broom approach is probably needed. The rest is about style not process and structure and that May be needed to guarantee the style they suggest.

3. Whilst usually there is a tangency to blame the individual rider for doping this has the reverse tenancy to blame the sports management for all that went wrong. The truth is that doping was the unspoken culture in the sport and in this dance it took three keep the tango going: riders, team management and sport management. Ethically, you can not offer amnesty to two parties involved and not the third. Although I'd like to find a way around this but at present I can not.

THE ONLY WAY IS BIKE

posted by lushmiester [156 posts]
4th December 2012 - 0:30

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"In that interview, LeMond acknowledged that he might not be the best candidate for the job on a permanent basis, that he perhaps lacked the political acumen to become head of a sports governing body on a permanent basis, but he would be willing to take on such a role temporarily while someone of sufficient stature – he cited the name of former World Anti-Doping Agency president Dick Pound – were able to eventually replace him."

I was keen to listen to what these guys had to say about the future and possible direction forward including all of their opinions...until I heard this.

The backing of Lemond for UCI president means this group are no longer unbiased or independent like they say the UCI should be with regard to drug testing for example.

Any placement of a leader to the UCI, should be done through regional bodies as per the process, without trying to skip through via a process for change group.

This really lessens any good that has come out of this group imho.

As for Lemonds proposition:
1. We need stability, not knee-jerk reaction and interim presidency. This may mean keeping the existing presidency as it stands, but at least they can be made accountable for all their past decisions whilst still in the job.
2. Lemond mentioning Dick Pound as possible successor is really concerning as his record is far from what if required to run a stable governing body of sport. How he handled affairs in the past is almost as good as how McQuaid has handled the UCI. This tells me that Lemond doesnt know whats required and would have a negative influence from within.

Its really early on in the development of this group and their overall message is a positive one that needs refinement. Its just a shame its being drowned out by Lemond and the likes of Dave Millar not being invited where apparently 10 other riders where.

posted by Farky [177 posts]
4th December 2012 - 11:24

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I asked Jamie Fuller if CCN even bothered to read the UCI's own constitution, Which in principle is no different to this BS charter of the willing. I got nothing but abuse back from him and his henchmen. To the point where I had to block them on Twitter. Talk about fear? This is just a group set up like an unelected lynching mob who all have had a reason to dislike the UCI, sponsored by commercial interests, and suffering chronic groupthink. Fuller even admitted he was bank rolling it. I am for change in the UCI and I do not agree with how the UCI has been operating. However this needs to come from elected representatives. As a previous poster wrote, Lemond would first need to get a position within USA cycling's own management committee. Secondly, get some credibility as he still seems to have an alcohol problem. According to velocast they were up, partying until 2 am at this conference. Finally, fans, in most countries and most sports join their local sports club and fan clubs. I see no need for fan representation, as costs me nothing to watch a bike race, either on the street or on TV: Crying I am represented by my own cycling federation. I think velocast (ex BBC engineer) and festingirl (Kent CC employee) are somewhat arrogant in their belief they are more important than Brian Cookson OBE, president of British cycling, who already represents them.
Crying

posted by philsinclair [11 posts]
4th December 2012 - 11:24

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well my cynicism levels have overflowed and are now making an ugly puddle on the floor.

This is depressing. I love Greg, would heartily applaud any measure that put him in the lead job. Never gonna happen though.

The 'independent' commission will run for just long enough to let the heat die out of this, and then they will find that there should be some serious reviews of procedure to prevent this ever happening again...with no culpability of Pat and Hein and no change in their roles. Same old same old...

It will be, in other words, just like the Leveson enquiry - a great face-saving and time wasting play, whilst the heat dies out of the public outrage, just in time for Cameron to say that actually the findings and recommendations of this inquiry can be safely ignored and he can jump back into bed with newscorp. Same old same old...

Bugger this. I'm heading off to the pub.

posted by Lacticlegs [124 posts]
4th December 2012 - 11:26

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Robdaykin, I think it had to be behind closed doors because some of the discussion topics might have left them open to liable action Wink

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posted by Gkam84 [8685 posts]
4th December 2012 - 11:49

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I don't like anyone claiming they are just going to fill the position on an 'Interim' basis; it just sounds like a way to sneak in. However, I do think LeMond would be a great UCI President. McQuaid should step aside!

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posted by new-to-cycling [47 posts]
4th December 2012 - 14:57

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Who's paying for this fatuous talk-=shop?

posted by izzi green [12 posts]
5th December 2012 - 10:00

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" Robdaykin " may have much to offer to the CCN Meeting as have some of the 2660+ that signed the petition ! I doubt even if invited , i would have had much to offer , since most of my ideas are already set out in my blogs . Seems like some at the meeting had read these blogs as there is much in the " charter " and " T& R " that i espoused over the past years .

Doc has made some worthwhile points , but the " CCN Movement " is still in it's early stages of formation and as it is taking in many people with diverse experience and agendas needs to build consensus .

As regards " PhilSinclair's " comment , i find it contrary to my own dealings with Jaimie F., could be interesting to see reported exchange : email on skippi@ausi.com SVP !

That Greg LeMond has been named by the CCN movement is a way to garner publicity , that was picked up by the Major News Networks and was a huge success . Tuesday we see phat ask for submissions for " Cycling's bright future " and tell me where it hit the headlines ?

That the " UCI " is a closed shop is common knowledge , and breaching the defences that they have erected over the years is going to be a long tedious hard fought battle BUT CCN Movement has made a strong start !

Skippy(advocate for "Disabled / Para Sport")@skippydetour. blogging as skippi-cyclist.blogspot & Parrabuddy.blogspot currently on the road with ProTour Grand Tour Events .

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posted by skippy [378 posts]
5th December 2012 - 21:44

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i admired lemond when he was competing at the tour and i still admire his determination now, i think he would make an ideal candidte to take over the uci presidency and make changes that safeguard the future of the sport.
Nerd

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posted by andrew miners [46 posts]
6th December 2012 - 9:59

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Here is a section from a 1998 Sports Illustrated article
about Greg Lemond.
Look carefully at the word "iron".

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/cycling/1998/tourdefrance/tourdefrancea...

"I came back to the room and was ready to cry," he recalls. "I called Kathy that night and told her, 'Get ready to sell everything. I want no obligations. If things don't turn around, I'm quitting at the end of the year.' " She didn't try to talk him out of it. It was the lowest point in his cycling career.

Shortly after that phone call, things began to turn. LeMond had a second injection of iron and started feeling stronger. He actually stayed within shouting distance of the leaders on a late mountain stage of the Tour of Italy, which was such a morale booster that he wanted an all-out test. Being hopelessly out of contention in the overall standings, LeMond decided to go for broke in the final stage of the Tour of Italy, an individual time trial of just under 34 miles. He would hold nothing back, start to finish. If he ran out of gas — "blew up," in cycling parlance — so be it. But LeMond didn't blow up. He finished second, a whopping minute and 18 seconds ahead of Fignon, the overall winner. "It changed my entire outlook," says LeMond. "Obviously, there was nothing wrong with me physically."

Charlie Horse

posted by ch [99 posts]
8th December 2012 - 9:25

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