Exclusive: Group dismissed by UCI President as "agitators" given top status by Independent Commission

Saturday, 15 December 2012
By Duncan Mackay

Pat McQuaid close up profileDecember 15 - Change Cycling Now, a group dismissed by International Cycling Union (UCI) President Pat McQuaid (pictured) as "agitators", have been awarded representation status by the Independent Commission investigating the sport's doping problem.

But they will only accept the role it the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) decide to cooperate in the wake of the Lance Armstrong scandal.

WADA have threatened to boycott the Commission, headed by by Former British Court of Appeal judge Sir Philip Otton and assisted by House of Lords Peer and 11-time Paralympic gold medallist Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and Australian lawyer Malcolm Holmes, in a row over the terms of reference.

"I have informed the UCIIC (UCI Independent Commission) lawyers that we would like to participate and cooperate with the Independent Commission," Jamie Fuller, who has set-up Change Cycling Now, told insidethegames.

"However, our participation is subject to WADA and USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) cooperation and participation.

"In short, if WADA and USADA choose to boycott the UCIIC then we will do the same."

In a series of interviews with international news agencies, McQuaid this week took the opportunity to denigrate Change Cycling Now.

He called the offer by Greg LeMond, the former three-time winner of the Tour de France who is one of the group's leading members, to stand as interim President a "PR stunt" and called into question the motives of Fuller, chairman of sportswear company Skins. 

Jamie Fuller and Greg LeMond Change Cycling Now December 2012Jamie Fuller (left) and Greg LeMond (right) have been come under attack from UCI President Pat McQuaid

"The guy in charge from Skins, he came into sponsoring cycling in 2008," McQuaid told Reuters.

"For me, it's just a stunt to promote his company."

McQuaid also boasted to Reuters about how the UCI have "proven them [the critics] wrong" over the independence of the Commission even though WADA have questioned that very thing.

"I think this Commission is probably the most independent high-powered Commission ever to study a sport's problem," he told Reuters.

The future of McQuaid is inextricably linked to the success of the Commission. 

But Fuller, like WADA, wants it to be more independent.

"We are all very focused on ensuring that the Commission has the right tools to do the job that they need to do which is get the complete truth," Fuller told insidethegames.

"The best way to ensure this other than having the right Commissioners on the panel is to make sure that the terms of reference is complete and appropriate.

"As of now we are concerned that the terms of reference were drafted by the UCI and were done so without input from either USADA or WADA and we need this to be fixed."

Contact the writer of this story at duncan.mackay@insidethegames.biz


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