World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) president John Fahey has revealed that the UCI has written to him to him regarding the possibility of establishing a truth and reconciliation commission, an issue that led to a public falling out between the two organisations last month. The news coincided with the UCI announcing further details of the Stakeholder Consultation it is holding into the future of cycling, announced last November.
Fahey, speaking at a symposium held by WADA in London yesterday, said of the UCI letter: “Was it asking? It was more telling. It nominated four people from the organisation which did not include Pat McQuaid who would be representing UCI in such discussions," reports Yahoo! Eurosport.
Last month, Fahey and McQuaid clashed in the wake of the UCI’s decision to disband the Independent Commission it had set up to examine its own role in the US Postal conspiracy that led to Lance Armstrong receiving a lifetime ban and being stripped of results including the seven Tour de France titles he won between 1999 and 2005.
WADA had insisted that the Independent Commission’s terms of reference should include a truth and reconciliation process. Suspending the Commission during its first meeting, McQuaid subsequently said the UCI was working with WADA to set up such a process, a claim Fahey strongly denied.
The WADA president says that his organisation still wants to help the UCI overcome “this constant crisis which seems to surface in cycling” and that it wants to see a truth and reconciliation process established, but insists it must be controlled by the Independent Commission.
"So I put those terms back, that's the starting point, it hasn't changed for several weeks. If they are serious they will talk to us," he added.
He did however take issue with the use of the term ‘truth and reconciliation,’ which he described as "wonderful fancy words."
"I think we leave that where we should leave it, where it had some meaning and that is in days gone by in South Africa," he explained.
"Only cycling can heal the problems cycling has, they're independent, they run their own sport, the same as any other sport in the world.
"If the members are prepared to continue to allow this lurching from one crisis to another then I guess we are going to continue to read about turmoil in that sport for some time yet.
"I would hope that within the root and file [sic] members of cycling there is recognition that it can't continue this way without there being some dire consequences down the track."
Meanwhile, the UCI stated that the Stakeholder Consultation launched in November would take place during a three-week period between Thursday 21 February and Wednesday 15 March.
In a press release yesterday evening, it said:
Every stakeholder in cycling will be invited to participate in the process, including riders, teams, race organisers, sponsors, sports institutions, the media and fans.
The input and contributions from cycling’s stakeholders around the world will be gathered electronically, using a specially designed online consultation survey.
The consultation will cover four broad themes: globalisation, anti-doping, the cycling calendar and riders. A fifth subject – that of the governance of cycling – will be a ‘red thread’ running through each of the four major themes.
In conjunction with the online consultation survey, the key themes will be discussed by four working groups composed of appropriate experts from cycling’s different stakeholder groups, which will gather in March.
The Stakeholder Consultation will be managed by Deloitte, which will report to the governing body during the second quarter of 2013 “to help the UCI decide what changes and actions need to be implemented to improve the organisation, operation and image of cycling.”
The UCI added that it would publish key findings and recommendations.
UCI president Pat McQuaid commented: “We saw last year in the Olympic Games that cycling is one of the world’s most popular sports, both for participants and spectators.
“The aim of this consultation is for the UCI to listen to stakeholders’ views so they can help to shape cycling’s bright future by making it an even more popular sport.
“This consultation will look forward to ensure that our sport is the best it can possibly be. The different worlds of sport, of technology and of media are all changing every day and cycling must keep up – as all cycling enthusiasts know, when the peloton moves forward you either keep up or get left behind.
“I very much look forward to hearing the views of all cycling’s stakeholders in this unprecedented exercise for our sport. I strongly believe that our stakeholders will be keen to assist the UCI in giving cycling new momentum and ensure that our sport has the wonderful future that it deserves.”
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.