Cycling

UCI urged to pay for probe

2012-11-01 21:04
Lance Armstrong (AP)

Geneva - Cycling leaders should pay for the independent investigation into allegations the sport's governing body covered up doping by Lance Armstrong, according to a former board member.

Sylvia Schenk, the sports adviser for anti-corruption body Transparency International, said the investigating panel will need funds to carry out the probe and help the International Cycling Union regain credibility.

"The commission will not be able to do everything itself," Schenk told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "It must outsource some of the things that need to be done."

UCI President Pat McQuaid acknowledged last month that professional cycling was in its biggest crisis after the US Anti-Doping Agency set out in devastating detail how Armstrong's teams cheated during his 1999-2005 run of Tour de France wins.

After agreeing last week that Armstrong should be banned for life and stripped of his race results, the UCI moved to restore its own reputation.

McQuaid said it would create a commission to examine allegations about the governing body's conduct raised by the USADA report, including that Armstrong donated $125 000 in exchange for covering up suspicious doping tests. The UCI wants a report and recommendations delivered by June 1.

Schenk said past explanations about the donations - including exact amounts and when they were paid - had been "contradictory."

"If the UCI discloses everything then it really has a chance to look into details to see who has been involved, and to take measures to kick out those who have been involved," said Schenk, who served on the UCI board for five years through 2005 under then-president Hein Verbruggen.

Schenk said there is a mood within cycling to change and end the culture of doping.

"Whether it will really happen, that depends in the next four, five, six weeks - whether such a commission is really independent and having resources," the former German cycling federation president said.

The UCI has said it will announce next week which "independent sports body" will nominate the investigation panel members.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport's ruling board is the best candidate for that job, Schenk said.

"WADA (the World Anti-Doping Agency) is not really independent," she said. "It is part of the whole system, as part of the USADA report, and it would be better to have an institution like CAS."

The UCI has taken a similar path to FIFA, which responded last year to allegations of high-level corruption by appointing Swiss law professor Mark Pieth to assemble an expert panel advising on reforms.

Read more on:    lance armstrong  |  cycling
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