Jonathan Vaughters Calls For UCI To Split

Former professional cyclist Jonathan Vaughters who admitted to doping in an affidavit to USADA recently said the UCI, governing body of cycling, needs to distance itself from anti-doping controls.

The International Association of Professional Cycling teams (AIGCP) head Jonathan Vaughters said he would like an independent audit on all the presently running anti-doping efforts and this will be of great use of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

AIGCP said its management committee will make an announcement this week on which sports body would be nominating members and define the scope of the commission. UCI had not yet contacted his organization, WADA’s director general, David Howman, said in an interview.

AIGCP members voted for supporting a proposal for an independent review of the anti-doping program of cycling ahead of UCI’s announcement of its plans for a commission. Pressure is mounting on UCI after Lance Armstrong was stripped of all his titles and banned for life by USADA, a decision that was later ratified by the governing body of cycling. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) found through testimony from 11 of his former teammates, including Vaughters, that the disgraced cyclist doped for much of his career.

It was alleged by former teammates of Armstrong, Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton that UCI had a part in Armstrong’s doping legacy and the cyclist bragged that the UCI helped cover up an alleged positive doping control from the 2001 Tour de Suisse. The allegation was however denied by UCI president Pat McQuaid but the management committee provided the green signal to a commission for examining it. The UCI stated, in a press release, that the scope of the commission will be to look into the different allegations made about the cycling’s governing body related to the Lance Armstrong doping scandal and to identify ways for ensuring that sportsmen caught for doping were no longer able to take part in the sport, including as part of an entourage.

The UCI has yet to respond to the proposal of the AIGCP, Vaughters said and added that he hopes the commission will examine the present anti-doping structure and explained that ideally the commission should make a recommendation to separate UCI from anti-doping operations as this will reduce the  chances of cover-up and bribery claims. He added that the anti-doping group should move to a different office and must be funded by teams and race organizers directly and WADA should have the ultimate authority and auditory power.

Vaughters of Garmin-Sharp has hired a number of ex-dopers and recently said Tom Danielson, Christian Vande Velde, and David Zabriskie had doped in the past and he treats dopers and clean cyclists the same but with a condition that they will ride clean on his team and said he did not sign Jörg Jaksche not because he was a doper but because he loves to gossip and calling anyone and everyone a doper. Vaughters added that Jorge wants to be a leader but he believes that Jorge doesn’t have the physiological or social qualities to be a leader.

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