UCI and WADA's Feud Goes (Even More) Public
Cycling’s governing bodies continued to
fight like children feud this week, turning cleaning up the sport into a big fun game of, “He said, he said.” A little background and the latest:
When the USADA insinuated that the UCI had been involved in a Lance Armstrong positive-drug-test-cover-up, the UCI responded by announcing that the organization would undergo an Independent Commission investigation to get to the bottom it.
But on Monday, the UCI announced that—with the support of the WADA—the cycling organization would disband this investigation in favor of forming a truth and reconciliation commission (TRC), because WADA had "no confidence in the existing Independent Commission process."
But on Tuesday, WADA president John Fahey said that wasn’t so:
WADA is dismayed by the press release issued by UCI yesterday, both in terms of its content and its deceit. Instead of any continuing professional dialogue with WADA's president, UCI has publicly announced by way of a press statement 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. The fact is that WADA was awaiting a reply to the correspondence when the UCI release was delivered.
And later on Tuesday, UCI president Pat McQuaid responded to WADA’s response to the UCI’s statement:
I am very saddened that it has come to this, but I cannot allow the latest blatant and aggressive misrepresentations contained in WADA's most recent press release to go unchallenged. Mr. Fahey is saying one thing in public and quite the opposite in correspondence with me.
McQuaid also attached email correspondences between himself and Fahey to the statement, which are available to read here.
And now, McQuaid and the UCI have called on the International Olympic Committee (IOC), asking them to ask WADA to ease off: [Ed note: bold added]
The UCI is committed to establishing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to examine the culture of doping in cycling in the past, as well as the allegations contained in the USADA reasoned decision on Lance Armstrong and the United States Postal Service (USPS) team, and to clean the air so that our sport can move forward.
In order to do this, I very much hope that WADA will now desist from continuing the current undignified war of words via the media and sit down with us in a spirit of cooperation and partnership to work out the details of the Truth and Reconciliation process. In return, the UCI will gladly do the same.
Meanwhile, the disbanded Independent Commission is dejected and troubled, having been sidelined:
The commission remains concerned as to WADA's and the UCI's ability to agree the scope, timing and structure of the TRC and also whether the T&R process is sufficiently advanced to justify the UCI's termination of this inquiry.
Ladies and gents, we bring you the people in charge of rebuilding cycling. As long as this doesn’t devolve into the two presidents meeting at the local playground at dusk to duke it out, we’ll continue to keep you updated.