The Management Committee of the International Cycling Union (UCI), meeting in Geneva today, decided a number of critical measures in the wake of the USADA âReasoned Decisionâ on Lance Armstrong. The Committee acknowledged that decisive action was needed in response to the report.
With respect to Lance Armstrong and the implications of the USADA sanctions which it endorsed on Monday 22 October, the Management Committee decided not to award victories to any other rider or upgrade other placings in any of the affected events.
The Committee decided to apply this ruling from now on to any competitive sporting results disqualified due to doping for the period from 1998 to 2005, without prejudice to the statute of limitation. The Committee also called on Armstrong and all other affected riders to return the prize money they had received.
The UCI Management Committee acknowledged that a cloud of suspicion would remain hanging over this dark period â but while this might appear harsh for those who rode clean, they would understand there was little honour to be gained in reallocating places.
Second, while the Management Committee expressed confidence that enormous strides had been made in the fight against doping since 2005, in order to ensure that UCI and cycling could move forward with the confidence of all parties, the governing body also decided to establish a fully independent external Commission to look into the various allegations made about UCI relating to the Armstrong affair.Â
The Committee agreed that part of the independent Commissionâs remit would be to find ways to ensure that persons caught for doping were no longer able to take part in the sport, including as part of an entourage.
In the week of 5 November 2012, therefore, the Management Committee will announce which independent sports body will nominate the members of the Commission and, with the UCI Management Committee, agree appropriate terms of reference.
Following this, individual members of the independent Commission will be appointed as soon as possible with a view to their report and recommendations being published no later than 1 June 2013.
Finally, while continuing strongly to maintain the merits of UCIâs case, the Committee decided to seek to suspend the UCI legal action against journalist Paul Kimmage, pending the findings of the independent Commission. UCI President Pat McQuaid and Honorary President Hein Verbruggen who are individual parties to the case will similarly seek to put their cases on hold.
UCI President Pat McQuaid said: âAs I said on Monday, UCI is determined to turn around this painful episode in the history of our sport. We will take whatever actions are deemed necessary by the independent Commission and we will put cycling back on track.
âToday, cycling is a completely different sport from what it was in the period 1998-2005. Riders are now subject to the most innovative and effective anti-doping procedures and regulations in sport. Nevertheless, we have listened to the worldâs reaction to the Lance Armstrong affair and have taken these additional decisive steps in response to the grave concerns raised.â
UCI Communications Service
Photo: Press conference which was held on Monday 22 October 2012