UCI urges new anti-doping measures after scathing report
Mar. 13, 2015
AIGLE, Switzerland (AP) — Cycling's governing body urged new measures on Friday to curb doping after a stinging report into the sport's culture of cheating.
The International Cycling Union now backs key report recommendations including night-time access to riders for collecting doping control samples and "more robust" re-testing of their stored samples.
The UCI responded days after the Cycling Independent Reform Commission produced a 227-page document detailing how collusion and failures by its previous leaders allowed Lance Armstrong to cheat and dominate the sport.
"As I predicted, the CIRC report made for uncomfortable reading but it is imperative that we do not shy away from tough decisions," UCI President Brian Cookson said in a statement.
The governing body will ask more of its independent anti-doping unit (CADF), and will urge it to recruit an intelligence manager to work with customs and law enforcement agencies.
The UCI wants a fit-and-proper test for team directors and doctors, faster prosecutions of biological passport cases and a re-launched whistleblower hotline.
Doping problems persist in top-level cycling today, as Cookson acknowledged Monday when the UCI published the work of a CIRC panel it appointed.
The CIRC reported witness testimony that 90 percent of road cycling riders use doping, and 90 percent of exemptions for using therapeutic medications were to enhance performance.
"I am absolutely determined to use the CIRC's report to ensure that cycling continues the process of fully regaining the trust of fans, broadcasters and all the riders who compete clean," Cookson said.
The governing body has created a task force to "ensure the recommendations are properly followed up," he said.
Closer cooperation with the World Anti-Doping Agency and national anti-doping bodies are central to the UCI's aims.
The CIRC report criticized past UCI presidents Hein Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid — who combined to lead the governing body from 1991 to 2013 — for fighting power struggles with stakeholders and protecting Armstrong instead of tackling doping more seriously.
Cookson picked up on another CIRC criticism, that UCI election campaigns were unsatisfactory and gave riders no say in voting by member federations.
"I strongly believe we should implement a more representative electoral system," said the UCI leader, who ousted McQuaid in an election 18 months ago.