The UCI Independent Commission has called for a ‘truth and reconciliation public hearing’, with a full or partial amnesty being offered to riders, team management, or others involved in professional cycling, who confess to past involvement in doping.
The Commission was set up on November 30th last year by the UCI and since then has been gathering evidence. During the period it has received ‘representations from various interested bodies and individuals as to the scope of the Terms of Reference’, with various parties calling on the Commission to include a Truth and Reconciliation process.
Those calls have come from the likes of Change Cycling Now (CCN), the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
USADA provided the Commission with a draft Truth and Reconciliation proposal, which requires the agreement of the relevant anti-doping bodies and the UCI, which is where the proposal hit the buffers.
On December 21st 2012, the Commission passed USADA’s proposal to the UCI, but on January 9th 2013, the UCI indicated to the Commission that ‘that proposal was unacceptable’ as part of this Inquiry.
Days later, on Jan 15th, the Commission met to consider the position. On the same date WADA, USADA and CCN informed the Commission that they would not participate in the Inquiry unless the Truth and Reconciliation process was part of the process.
The Commission said: "It is of great regret to the Commission that the UCI, WADA and USADA have not been able to reach agreement to a Truth and Reconciliation process, and that WADA, USADA and CCN have indicated to the Commission that they do not wish to participate in the Inquiry on the present Terms of Reference.
"The Commission is of the view that a Truth and Reconciliation process is desirable for the purposes of this Inquiry, and that such a process would ensure that the most complete evidence is available to the Commission at its hearing in April 2013. The Commission is of the view that such a process would be in the interests not only of the Inquiry, but also of professional cycling as a whole."
The Commission, via the Solicitors to the Inquiry, has written to the UCI’s solicitors, urging the UCI to reconsider its position.
The statement from the Commission continues:
"In addition, the Commission has decided to hold a procedural hearing, to take place as soon as possible after January 21st 2013, in public, where this issue will be addressed with the UCI.
At that hearing the Commission will also consider the scope of the Terms of Reference generally, and in particular Terms of Reference #1, 3 and 9; and will consider the current state of the timetable.
The Commission is of the view that the participation of USADA, WADA and CCN in the Inquiry would assist the Commission, and it hopes that they will give further consideration to participating, and will continue to explore the possibility of a Truth and Reconciliation process directly with the UCI.
The procedural hearing will be in Central London, and the date, venue and time will be confirmed shortly.
In the meantime the Commission encourages any person who does not need the benefit of an amnesty to come forward and give evidence by contacting Geoff Steward of Macfarlanes at Geoff.Steward@macfarlanes.com."