International Cycling

UCI, WADA agree on inquiry

2013-11-13 18:30
Brian Cookson (Getty Images)

Johannesburg - International cycling's "truth and reconciliation commission" after the Lance Armstrong doping scandal should be up and running early next year, the world cycling boss told AFP Wednesday.

"I'm hoping to make an announcement in a couple of weeks and I'm hoping that the whole thing will be up and running early in the new year," said Brian Cookson, the new president of the International Cycling Union (UCI).

Cookson, who ousted former UCI head Pat McQuaid in an election in September, spoke on the sidelines of the World Conference on Doping in Sports, where he hoped to iron out final arrangements with the global doping policing body WADA about the commission of inquiry.

"We are very anxious that we agree those terms and conditions with WADA. We're pretty close to agreement now," he said.

"But I'm very anxious that we do all of this sooner rather than later."

The UCI stripped Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles -- won between 1999 and 2005 -- in August last year.

Armstrong, 42, has said he would cooperate to discover the extent of doping in the sport so long as he's treated the same as his fellow drug cheats.

Punishment for other cyclists has been less severe after they admitted to doping.

But Cookson echoed WADA outgoing president John Fahey's words from Tuesday that any reconsideration of Armstrong's sanctions should come from American anti-doping agency USADA.

"He's been sanctioned by the United States anti-doping agencies and the penalties he got from that have been accepted by the UCI and by the wider sporting world," said Cookson.

"And really it's in the hands of the United States Anti-Doping Agency whether they would look at any reduction in that for any further information that he might volunteer."

Cookson was frank about the past "culture of doping in professional road cycling in particular" and his commitment to clean it up.

Athletes should be able to "go all of the way to the top of the sport without having to take risks, without having to cheat, without having to lie and without having to spend the rest of their lives looking over their shoulders," he said.

"I think it's cleaner now than it's been for many many years," he added.

WADA president Fahey welcomed stronger relations with the UCI under Cookson after "some rocky moments in the past".

The two leaders had "productive, constructive, progressive" discussions at the anti-doping conference, Fahey told media.

"I can assure you that WADA's support will be given to the UCI," he said, stressing that the planned commission would be "UCI's inquiry".

Read more on:    uci  |  wada  |  brian cookson  |  cycling

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