January 30/13 9:23 am - UCI Releases WADA Correspondence in Ongoing Dispute
Posted by Editoress on 01/30/13
The UCI and WADA have been involved in a public battle over the establishment and scope of the recently dissolved Independent Commission. The Independent Commission was originally set up to investigate allegations of wrongdoing by the UCI that were put forward in the USADA Reasoned decision, which resulted in Lance Armstrong being sanctioned and stripped of his titles.
Subsequently, both WADA and USADA said that the Independent Commission was too restricted in its role (and not independent enough), and that neither body would participate. The UCI then announced that it would cancel the Commission and set up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission with broader terms, but requested that WADA be involved in helping to finance it.
Now, the UCI has released correspondence between the two bodies which it suggests shows that WADA has engaged in a PR game - encouraging the UCI privately, but attacking it publicly. Below is the UCI release, followed by the correspondence.
And now, another episode of 'As the Sport Continues to Lose Credibility' (sarcasm wholly intentional)
The UCI rejects accusations by WADA in a press release today that it has been ‘deceitful’ in its dealings with the anti-doping agency on the matter of establishing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) for cycling and in disbanding the Independent Commission.
The UCI has chosen to publish correspondence between its President Pat McQuaid and his WADA counterpart, John Fahey, in the interests of transparency and in order to set the record straight.
Pat McQuaid commented: “I am very saddened that it has come to this, but I cannot allow the latest blatant and aggressive misrepresentations contained in WADA’s most recent press release to go unchallenged. Mr Fahey is saying one thing in public and quite the opposite in correspondence with me, as the attached communications show.
“The UCI reached out to WADA in a spirit of partnership. This is about doing what is right for cycling. This is not the time for showmanship, or political point scoring.
“The UCI is perplexed that WADA has now chosen to rebuff and attack the UCI’s willingness to establish a TRC, having just demanded that the UCI establish exactly such a commission.
“We have now reached this sorry juncture because WADA publicly questioned the independence of the Independent Commission, criticised its terms of reference as being too Armstrong-centric (despite that being the whole basis for its establishment), repeatedly called for a broader inquiry into doping in the peloton, and over this past weekend stated unequivocally, both orally and in writing, that it had no faith in the Commission which it referred to as ‘the so-called Independent Commission’ and which it asserted was ‘too compromised’ to continue in office.
“Mr Fahey stated clearly in his letter to me that he believed ‘the process should start over from a new beginning’, regardless of the cost consequences for the UCI.
“Astonishingly, now that the UCI has once again tried to work with WADA by establishing the very body that it has been loudly calling for, it is disappointing, to say the least, to see Mr Fahey expressing support for the Commission that he had just condemned as having ‘no credibility’.
“In my letter to Mr Fahey, the UCI reached out to WADA in a spirit of partnership and cooperation. It is time to put personalities aside and work together for the future of cycling and sport more generally.
“In his letter to me, Mr Fahey’s recollections of our telephone conversation differs in a great many important respects from my own. As just one example, shown in the emails we have been forced to release today: Mr Fahey knew very well that I would call him, but not (as he claims) because he had been informed by the media, rather because we had arranged the call several days earlier in an email exchange with his Director General David Howman, with him in copy.
“The UCI is determined not to dwell on WADA’s inconsistent behaviour. We wish to reaffirm our commitment to establishing the TRC, and hope and expect WADA, NADOs, National Federations, Tour Organisers and professional teams to engage in that process for the benefit of the sport.”
Mr McQuaid concluded: “I would therefore urge the President of WADA one more time to try to set his personal vendetta and crusade against cycling aside and to support the UCI in doing what is right for cycling. Our aims are the same: to rid cycling and indeed all sports of the scourge of doping.”
UCI - WADA Letters
David Howman E-mail