By Duncan Mackay

Lance Armstrong head and shouldersJanuary 28 - The Independent Commission set-up to investigate the Lance Armstrong doping scandal has been scrapped by the International Cycling Union (UCI), which is replacing it with a "truth and reconciliation process", it was announced tonight. 

The UCI said the Commission was being disbanded following talks with World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President John Fahey.

"He [Fahey] confirmed WADA's willingness to help the UCI establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), as well as saying that WADA had no confidence in the existing Independent Commission process," said UCI President Pat McQuaid.

The three-member Independent Commission, made up of chairman Sir Philip Otton, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and Australian lawyer Malcolm Holmes, was established last year to look into allegations that the UCI were involved in a cover-up during Armstrong's career. 

"We have listened carefully to the views of WADA, USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) and cycling stakeholders and have decided that a truth and reconciliation process is the best way to examine the culture of doping in cycling in the past and to clear the air," said McQuaid.

The TRC process, in which McQuaid expects WADA to be "fully engaged", is expected to launch later this year with a report to be published in full once its work is concluded.  

A UCI Management Committee meeting is due to be held on Friday (February 1) to discuss the establish of the new process.

Pat McQuaid profileUCI President Pat McQuaid hopes the Truth and Reconciliation Commission will help cycling put its dirty past behind it and move on

McQuaid made it clear last week that the UCI could not afford two separate inquiries, particularly as one involving WADA would likely be longer and broader.

"There is still a huge amount to discuss before we can finalise a detailed legal framework, including how such a TRC, which is completely unprecedented in sport, should be funded now that WADA contrary to earlier indications refuses to contribute financially," said McQuaid.

"I would stress that, while I am committed to a TRC, it needs to be a process which is in the best interests of our sport and our Federation - and which also does not bankrupt it."

Armstrong, who last year was found guilty of doping by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for most of his career and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, has claimed that he would be willing to cooperate with a TRC.

"I hope the lessons learned from the truth and reconciliation process will help in particular to educate young riders and to help eradicate doping in its entirety from cycling," said McQuaid.

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