WADA have commission concerns

  • Last Updated: December 13 2012, 17:22 GMT

The World Anti-doping Agency has "significant concerns" with the focus of an independent commission set up by the UCI in the wake of the Lance Armstrong scandal.

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A three-person panel chaired by former Court of Appeal judge Sir Philip Otton and including Australian lawyer Malcolm Holmes QC and Lords peer Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson has been brought together to analyse the Armstrong affair and the role of the UCI in the scandal.

The commission, which will act as a fully independent external body will hold a hearing in London between April 9-26, 2013 and report its findings by June 1.

WADA has expressed misgivings over the terms of reference set out by the three-member panel.

A statement from WADA president John Fahey read: "I can confirm that WADA has been contacted by lawyers representing the independent commission established by the UCI, cycling's governing body, and has agreed to meet with them in the near future to discuss WADA's possible involvement in the process that has been proposed by the UCI.

"However, WADA has some significant concerns about the commission's terms of reference and has alerted the lawyers representing the commission of its concerns.

"If WADA's concerns cannot be resolved as a result of this meeting, WADA will consider seriously whether it can take part in the commission's process.

"WADA will make no further public comment on the matter until after the meeting."

The subjects for discussion, or terms of reference, were drawn up by the commission members.

The questions asked are comprehensive in scope, such as: whether the UCI was aware of the doping practices at US Postal and if not, why not; whether anti-doping policies and procedures were adequate; and, whether there was evidence of widespread doping which was ignored.

The terms of reference also include questions relating to Armstrong's relationship with the UCI. For example, whether Armstrong made payments to the UCI and whether or not these payments were appropriate.

The UCI has previously admitted it accepted a donation from Armstrong in 2002, but strongly denies it was connected to any cover-up of a positive test.

Further subjects for consideration include whether those convicted of doping offences should be able to work in cycling and if not, how such a measure would be enforced.

The UCI in October ratified the sanctions recommended by the United States Anti-doping Agency, who conducted an investigation which concluded Armstrong and his United States Postal Service team ran "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen".

Armstrong did not cooperate with the USADA investigation and has been banned for life and stripped of all results from August 1, 1998, including seven Tour de France titles.

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