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Agency issues blistering response to UCI criticism in yesterday's announcement that Independent Commission to be scrapped...

World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) president John Fahey has branded the UCI as “arrogant” and “deceitful” in a strongly worded statement issued this afternoon in response to world cycling’s governing body’s announcement yesterday that it has scrapped the Independent Commission it had ordered to examine its own role in the Lance Armstrong scandal.

The UCI’s statement had criticised WADA for undermining the Independent Commission’s work, but it said it would now work with the agency to put a Truth & Reconciliation Commission in place. In light of WADA’s statement, that now appears to be the remotest of possibilities.

In a hard-hitting statement published on its website, Fahey says the “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.”

Taking issue with the UCI’s stated reasons for pulling the plug on the Independent Commission – chief among which were what it alleged was the non co-operation of WADA and the United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) – Fahey says: “It [the UCI] 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.”

He also points out that WADA was not even consulted on the setting up of the Independent Commission, and says that the UCI failed to address the concerns it had raised in relation to its terms of reference.

Yesterday’s announcement by the UCI that it was disbanding the Independent Commission highlighted its claim that it would now be working with WADA to establish a Truth & Reconciliation Commission, one that has been rejected by the agency with a mixture of anger and astonishment.

In that statement, UCI president Pat McQuaid said: "UCI President Pat McQuaid said: “As I said last Friday, we have listened carefully to the views of WADA, USADA and cycling stakeholders and have decided that a truth and reconciliation process is the best way to examine the culture of doping in cycling in the past and to clear the air so that cycling can move forward. 

“Over the weekend I spoke to John Fahey, President of WADA.  He confirmed WADA’s willingness to help the UCI establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), as well as saying that WADA had no confidence in the existing Independent Commission process.”

But today, Fahey denies that any such agreement had been reached, saying: “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.”

It seems clear that at least while Pat McQuaid remains president of the UCI there is little chance of a rapprochement between the two organisations, whose thinly veiled distrust of each other has now erupted into open warfare, with Fahey asserting that 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,” it adds.

Fahey says in his statement that “presuming the Independent Commission will reconvene on Thursday, as arranged, WADA intends to seek an appearance and table correspondence corroborating the facts stated here,” but that has already been overtaken by events, with the Independent Commission confirming earlier today that meeting would not take place.

In conclusion, Fahey says that he “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.”

One question many will be asking is how the future of a sport reeling from the continued fallout from the Armstrong affair can be safeguarded when there appears to be so little common ground between two bodies that in theory should be working together to ensure the lessons of the past are learnt and systems put in place to prevent any repetition going forward.

Another is how the UCI and Pat McQuaid can have so spectacularly misjudged WADA’s stance when the governing body sent out its press release announcing the decision to disband the Independent Commission and work with WADA on a Truth & Reconciliation Commision was sent out last night.

The absence of a joint release from WADA and the UCI on that subject should have set the alarm bells ringing; they’re certainly chiming loud and clear now.
 

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

20 comments

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notfastenough [3674 posts] 3 years ago
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FFS. Pat, just go. Go away, and don't come back.

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 3 years ago
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It's common knowledge that Pat McQuaid is arrogant and deceitful, but for WADA to say it is something new. I'm almost optimistic that the fall of Aigle may come soon.

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theclaw [73 posts] 3 years ago
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It's getting to the point where McQuaid will have to put armed guards on his doorstep. His stewardship of the sport has been catastrophic. He has betrayed us all. Even in the fantasy world of banking where everybody pretends that nothing they did was avoidable, I have never seen somebody so obviously culpable and who still insists that he should lead an organisation. He is as deluded as Armstrong, and the two belong together in the "banned and never coming back" category.

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Son of Crunch [12 posts] 3 years ago
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Agree 100%  14

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Son of Crunch [12 posts] 3 years ago
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theclaw wrote:

It's getting to the point where McQuaid will have to put armed guards on his doorstep. His stewardship of the sport has been catastrophic. He has betrayed us all. Even in the fantasy world of banking where everybody pretends that nothing they did was avoidable, I have never seen somebody so obviously culpable and who still insists that he should lead an organisation. He is as deluded as Armstrong, and the two belong together in the "banned and never coming back" category.

Agree 100%  14

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jova54 [651 posts] 3 years ago
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FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!

This is more like it. Fighting talk from WADA, USADA and the disbanded 'Independent Commission'.
How many more errors of judgement does UCI have to make before the national representatives move to stop them squandering money trying to protect their own arses?

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dullard [140 posts] 3 years ago
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"His stewardship of the sport has been catastrophic. He has betrayed us all."

Perfectly summed up, claw. McQuaid is running with the same shitty baton passed to him by that shyster of similarly no principles, Verbruggen. Those two, along with the cast of fools, makeweights and wannabes that has been led by Armstrong, Bruyneel, Liggett and Sherwen have shafted us royally for their own pockets and vanity for nigh on two decades. Until they are shaken out, named and shamed, cycling is going to keep losing credibility until the money men and women say enough and pull the plug.

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mingmong [258 posts] 3 years ago
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Son of Crunch wrote:
theclaw wrote:

It's getting to the point where McQuaid will have to put armed guards on his doorstep. His stewardship of the sport has been catastrophic. He has betrayed us all. Even in the fantasy world of banking where everybody pretends that nothing they did was avoidable, I have never seen somebody so obviously culpable and who still insists that he should lead an organisation. He is as deluded as Armstrong, and the two belong together in the "banned and never coming back" category.

Agree 100%  14

+1 Time to jog on Pat.

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Simon_MacMichael [2450 posts] 3 years ago
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[Article edited slightly to make clear statement was from WADA President John Fahey]

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Sadly Biggins [269 posts] 3 years ago
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The UCI would be hard pushed to make a bigger balls up of this if they tried. You'd think Fat Pat would realise that it's time for the whisky and revolver (metaphorically), but he just seems to want to hang on by his fingertips as any last vestige of credibility for the UCI disappears.

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Pitstone Peddler [104 posts] 3 years ago
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Agree with everything said thus far. I really cannot see what they think will now happen that will take affairs back to their version of normal for them as before 'USADA'.

I suppose this is a true definition of delusion. Lets be honest, USADA is far from finished with LA, the UCI hasn't even started to see the worse of it. Pat and Hein need to rent a flat in Panama and never be seen or heard from again. I do like the tone of WADA/'failed' Indy Comm though.

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ubercurmudgeon [169 posts] 3 years ago
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"Arrogant and deceitful." You know, in Russia you can run for president on that slogan and win. Which I guess makes Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton the Pussy Riot of the cycling world. And Lance Armstrong is rapidly becoming the Leon Trotsky. He'd better watch out he doesn't get an ice pick in his back.

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badback [302 posts] 3 years ago
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I wonder if Pat and Hein are going to send them a cease and desist notice or an invite to a Swiss court like they have done in the past ?

Chapeau for WADA having the balls to say what a lot of people have suspected for a while.

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Simon_MacMichael [2450 posts] 3 years ago
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badback wrote:

I wonder if Pat and Hein are going to send them a cease and desist notice or an invite to a Swiss court like they have done in the past ?

Nope, they're just going to publish the private exchange of correspondence... story on its way.

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ubercurmudgeon [169 posts] 3 years ago
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The Rumpo Kid wrote:

I'm almost optimistic that the fall of Aigle may come soon.

There's only one way to be sure.

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mustard [73 posts] 3 years ago
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This gets better, or worse as the case may be: http://www.uci.ch/Modules/ENews/ENewsDetails2011.asp?id=OTAxNg

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Colin Peyresourde [1719 posts] 3 years ago
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mustard wrote:

This gets better, or worse as the case may be: http://www.uci.ch/Modules/ENews/ENewsDetails2011.asp?id=OTAxNg

Wow, Fat Pat clearly is stupid and incompetent. I'm going to have to reappraise my thoughts on him, he's clearly not capable of being corrupt and deceitful, because he seems not to understand the things USADA are telling him....

But the icing on the cake is that he left his telephone number in the email (hopefully a direct dial). Let's all give him a call and give him a piece of our minds.

"Pat McQuaid
President
International Cycling Union
CH - 1860 Aigle
Switzerland
Tel: +41-24.468.58.11
Fax:+41-24.468.58.54
www.uci.ch"

 19

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Colin Peyresourde [1719 posts] 3 years ago
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Damn - it's the switchboard, but the fax line is different.

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notfastenough [3674 posts] 3 years ago
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 21 Still, good effort!

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JulesW [36 posts] 3 years ago
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Well WADA are doing pretty well on plain speaking. Thye just need to go that little bit further now. How about these for suggestions in next Press Release from WADA 'We trust you about as much as we trust Armstrong' r 'You ARE part of the problem not the solution'. Incredibly strong positioning and language from WADA though. It's a good job they are holding back.