McQuaid in firing line

Pressure is mounting on the International Cycling Union’s (UCI) leadership with the governing body plunged into fresh controversy for disbanding its own inquiry into the Lance Armstrong drugs scandal.

The independent commission yesterday said neither the UCI nor other stakeholders had provided sufficient co-operation to allow it to function.

Meanwhile, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has accused the UCI’s leaders of deceit and arrogance for scrapping its inquiry, and the row puts the governing body’s President Pat McQuaid in the firing line again.

His decision to terminate the independent commission followed weeks of wrangling with the WADA over its powers and whether those who testified could receive an amnesty.

The central issue of the inquiry concerned two donations by disgraced drugs cheat Armstrong to the governing body, and whether there was any complicity by the UCI in covering up his doping.

The UCI announced on Monday it was scrapping the inquiry in favour of a ‘truth and reconciliation’ process. McQuaid claimed WADA had agreed to this – something the agency denies.

WADA president John Fahey said: “The UCI has again chosen to ignore its responsibility to the sport of cycling in completing such an inquiry and is determined to apparently deflect responsibility for the doping problem in its sport to others.

“UCI has publicly announced that WADA has agreed to work with it on some form of truth and reconciliation. This is not only wrong in content and process, but again deceitful. WADA has not and will not consider partaking in any venture with UCI while this unilateral and arrogant attitude continues.”

A statement from the commission also pointed the finger at McQuaid.

It said: “Pat McQuaid stated that the UCI ‘will co-operate fully with the commission’... and urged all other interested stakeholders to do the same. Neither the UCI nor interested stakeholders have provided sufficient co-operation to enable the commission to do its job. This failure to co-operate makes our task impossible.”

The pressure group Change Cycling Now (CCN) said the UCI’s own management of anti-doping procedures, is “a rank and disgraceful manipulation of power by a governing body concerned only with self-preservation.”

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