Commission adjourned pending UCI documents

Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:14am EST
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Cycling's world governing body has yet to release any documents to an independent commission it set up last year to investigate allegations over the Lance Armstrong doping scandal, a hearing was told on Friday.

"It amazes me that we've had no documents whatsoever," Britain's 11-times Paralympic champion Tanni Grey-Thompson, one of the three members on the commission, told International Cycling Union counsel Ian Mill.

Mill also told the hearing that a date for a commission hearing set provisionally for April 9-26 would need to be rescheduled.

Friday's hearing was intended to set up the procedures, fix a timetable and set a date for a hearing. However, it hit immediate stumbling blocks and was adjourned to January 31.

Mill said there had been "no desire to suppress or conceal any documents", with 16 files of material available, but cast doubt on the commission's need for them, with the possibility of a broader 'truth and reconciliation' hearing being set up with other bodies.

In increasingly testy exchanges between the commission members and the UCI lawyer, it was made clear that the process could take up to two years, if the commission were not suspended entirely.

Mill said it was clear in any case that it would not be possible for the proposed April hearing to go ahead and a report would not be ready for June.

Responding to concern expressed by the independent commission chair Philip Otton, who had expressed a fear that allegations against the UCI risked being "kicked into the long grass", Mill said: "We're not trying to kill this enquiry, we set you up."   Continued...

Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) President Pat McQuaid (2nd L) arrives for an Independent Commission hearing in London January 25, 2013. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett