UCI Independent Commission announces reconciliation hearing

Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:52am EST
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By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) - The UCI Independent Commission looking into the Lance Armstrong probe will hold a 'truth and reconciliation' public hearing despite the International Cycling Union's reluctance.

"The Commission is of the view that ... such a process would ensure that the most complete evidence is available to the Commission at its hearing in April 2013," the UCI Independent Commission said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The Commission, via the Solicitors to the Inquiry, has written to the UCI's solicitors, urging the UCI to reconsider its position."

A public procedural hearing will take place "as soon as possible", the Commission added.

On Tuesday, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said it had a number of serious concerns regarding the commission's terms of reference and its ability to carry out its role without undue influence.

"In particular, WADA is concerned that the scope of the inquiry is too focused on sanctioned former cyclist Lance Armstrong ... and will therefore not fully address such a widespread and ingrained problem," said WADA.

The WADA also said the commission's June deadline would not offer enough time for a proper investigation. It also questioned the independence of the commission and was unhappy that they were not offering immunity for witnesses who come forward.

Despite its concerns, the WADA has been informed that the commission and UCI will not change the terms of reference and timetable and refuse to spend money and dedicate resources on an inquiry that has such obvious limitations.   Continued...

Cyclist Lance Armstrong is interviewed by Oprah Winfrey in Austin, Texas, in this January 14, 2012 handout photo courtesy of Harpo Studios. REUTERS/Harpo Studios, Inc/George Burns/Handout