By Tom Degun

Enrico CarpaniJanuary 24 - Enrico Carpani, the International Cycling Union (UCI) director of communications, is set to quit his role as the world governing body for the sport face their biggest crisis ever in the aftermath of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

Carpani, who has been at the UCI for 15 years, will leave the Lausanne-based role in March to take up the position as head of sport at Swiss Italian Television, which based in nearby Swiss town of Lugano.

He had previously worked there for 20 years before joining the UCI in 1997.

"I'm leaving the UCI end of March because I've been appointed head of sport at Swiss Italian Television in Lugano, my home town," Carpani told insidethegames.

"This is a great professional and personal opportunity for me, after 15 years away from my family.

"I will keep beautiful remembers of my time at the UCI."

The UCI have not yet announced plans to replace the Swiss native in the role.

The news is another major blow to the UCI and their increasingly under fire President Pat McQuaid, who has been forced on the defensive ever since Armstrong was banned for life last August by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for taking banned performance-enhancing drugs and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.

The move has led to increasing calls for McQuaid to step down as head of the sport with the UCI accused of a cover-up in the scandal.

Pat McQuaid 19-10-12The departure of UCI director of communications Enrico Carpani is another blow to its beleaguered President Pat McQuaid

McQuaid has already stepped down from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission for the 2020 Games, saying that he "can't afford to be spending two weeks away from the office in March".

The UCI's next setback is likely to come tomorrow (January 25) when the UCI Independent Commission procedural hearing in London.

The hearing comes after the Commission called on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the USADA and Change Cycling Now (CCN) to participate in a truth and reconciliation public hearing, under a full or partial amnesty, but all three declined under the current terms of reference.

The issue and terms of reference are set to be one of the key things discussed at the hearing in London with the Commission to speak to the UCI about it.

The hearing at The Law Society in London was originally scheduled to take place on Tuesday (January 22) but it was delayed due to heavy snow in the capital.

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