January 17 - The embattled International Cycling Union (UCI) has been slammed by Change Cycling Now (CCN), which claims the world governing body is controlling the Independent Commission it established to investigate the doping scandal that has plagued the sport.
The comments come after the Commission called on CCN, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to participate in the truth and reconciliation public hearing, under a full or partial amnesty, but all three declined under the current terms of reference.
CCN, the pressure group that was set up last year in a bid to rid the sport of doping, shed light on the situation saying it, along with WADA and USADA, could not participate due to serious concerns they all had that the Commission are being controlled by the UCI.
The move from CCN forced the UCI to release a statement approving an amnesty for those that testify to the Commission but that response has drawn fury from CCN.
"CCN is dismayed by the UCI's incomplete response to the Independent Commission's calls for wider terms of reference and alterations to the general process of its forthcoming review," said a CCN statement.
"It is a response which clearly illustrates the UCI's continued determination to manipulate the independent process and consequently endangers the credibility of the Commission's individual representatives.
"The UCI's decision to ignore the wider issues by merely announcing conditional 'approval' for an amnesty, confirms CCN's view that the Commission is being systematically obstructed in its efforts to establish a truly independent process.
"If, as the UCI has claimed, the Commission was empowered to draw up the terms of reference itself, it should equally be empowered to amend them without approval from the UCI."
CCN has remained on the attack, claiming the UCI is now the only organisation hindering the work of the three-member Commission, which is made up of British Court of Appeal judge Sir Philip Otton, House of Lords Peer and 11-time Paralympic champion Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson (pictured) and Australian lawyer Malcolm Holmes.
"In December, 2012, the Commission specifically invited WADA, USADA and CCN to officially cooperate in the review process," said the CCN statement.
"It is now clear that all four organisations agree that the terms of reference require revision to ensure true independence for the Commission and total transparency for a comprehensive process.
"The only organisation that continues to ignore the full scale of the recommended amendments, is the organisation that is singularly under investigation.
"CCN asks what the UCI is afraid of, that it chooses to deny the Commission the tools that will enable it to uncover the truth."
The Commission has announced plans to hold a public procedural hearing in London next Tuesday (January 22) where the issue will be addressed with the UCI.
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