Cycling’s governing body has announced plans to form an international anti-doping tribunal by 2015.
The International Cycling Union (UCI) will empower the independent body to deal with all doping cases involving international competitors, which are currently handled by national federations.
The UCI, whose management committee met in conjunction with the ongoing world road championships in Ponferrada, believes the move will lead to a consistency of decision making across the board, while it should also end debate over the reliability of individual federations’ findings.
A statement read: “In order to further improve UCI’s anti-doping processes, the 14 member Management Committee proposed the establishment of an Anti-Doping Tribunal to deal with cases involving international athletes, instead of these disciplinary proceedings being delegated to National Federations.
“The tribunal would be made up of judges specialised in anti-doping, fully independent of the UCI, with the aim to provide all top level athletes with the same consistent process and a clear, short timetable.
“This should ensure consistency and uniform quality in the decisions, significantly reduce the number of cases that go to CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) on appeal and lift the operational burden from the National Federations.
“After consultation with National Federations, the tribunal should be ready to start operating in 2015.”
At present the UCI has the right to refer individual decisions to CAS, but would have no need to do so under the revised model, having ceded responsibility to the tribunal.
The UCI has also confirmed that the 2017 Road World Championships will be held in the Norwegian city of Bergen.
UCI president Brian Cookson said: “The UCI Management Committee has today made important decisions that demonstrate the progress we are making across the board.
“I am delighted that we are taking cycling to even more people around the world.
“All these developments show the direction we are heading and, while there is still much to do, we are beginning to see the benefits of our efforts to restore trust in the UCI.”