Cycling’s Doping Investigation Gets Underway

Cycling Independent Reform Commission, which was set up by International Cycling Union (UCI), has started delving into the murky doping past of cycling. This commission will be making efforts to find out the complete truth about doping allegations surrounding the sport and this effort will include offering reduced sanctions for doping offenders who come forward with information.

UCI President Brian Cookson told reporters in Geneva that the lesson we can learn from the last few years is the truth will come out eventually. Cookson added his message to any rider involved in doping is that now is the time to come forward (and) tell the commission everything you know because it will come out sooner or later, maybe as a result of somebody’s testimony to the commission and also said it is in their interests if they have got something to hide to come and tell all the truth, not just some of the truth. Cookson also said the commission will investigate allegations the UCI was in some way complicit or in some way colluded in covering up some of the problems. The UCI chief said this is a very, very important day for the UCI and for the sport of cycling and we have put aside a very substantial amount of money from the UCI’s reserves to do this, we have appointed a genuinely independent commission with three people of the highest levels of integrity. He also said that it is not just important we analyze what went on in the past but that we learn some lessons for the future to stop the sport making the same mistakes again.

The Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC), the three-man body, was created in January for investigating the recent past of cycling including allegations that the world governing body of cycling was involved in previous wrongdoings.

CIRC chairman Dick Marty remarked the primary aim of the commission was to avoid scandals in the future in cycling, a sport that reached a low when Lance Armstrong, considered to be the best cyclist, was stripped of his seven Tour de France wins after the United States Anti-Doping Agency discovered that doping allegations against the Texan rider were true. Marty added the primary purpose is not to punish doping offenders but to learn from the past so we can help ensure a better future for cycling.

The CIRC chairman also remarked that reduced sanctions may be proposed by the investigators to riders, officials, agents, and staff members who came forward clean and full with “substantial information”. Marty, a senior Swiss politician and former state prosecutor, remarked the commission could propose further reductions or even a “zero sanction” if the information is of “great importance.” He said we will treat all witnesses fairly and I urge anyone in the cycling community with information that can help our investigation to come forward and added that this offer was generally limited to license holders who were not currently suspended or facing disciplinary action though riders and officials who are presently banned may be considered on a case-by-case basis for a reduction in their sanctions if they provided valuable evidence.

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