WADA 'Dismayed' By UCI's Handling Of Lance Armstrong Fallout, As Row Escalates
The World Anti-Doping Agency said it is "dismayed" by the way cycling's global governing body has handled the fallout from the Lance Armstrong affair and accused it of being "deceitful" and "arrogant," according to Owen Gibson of the London GUARDIAN. The escalation of the dispute has made the chances of a reconciliation process to probe cycling's doping issues -- promised this week by the Int'l Cycling Union (UCI) -- "even more remote." The UCI said late Monday evening that it had "decided to axe the independent commission it originally set up in order to investigate allegations of complicity" in Armstrong's industrial doping program. UCI President Pat McQuaid said that it would instead cooperate with WADA on "a jointly-funded and wide-ranging truth and reconciliation process, including a rider amnesty, that would take at least 12 months." However, WADA said that it had "made no such commitment and accused the UCI of misrepresenting the exchanges between the two organisations" (GUARDIAN, 1/29).
BACK AND FORTH: WADA CEO John Fahey said, "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." McQuaid said in Monday's statement that WADA had "no confidence in the existing Independent Commission process." Fahey said: "WADA has never questioned the integrity and independence of the members of the commission, but solely the ability of the commission to work properly under the contract given by UCI to the commission" (REUTERS, 1/29). In response to Fahey's comments, the UCI issued a press release in which it rejects accusations that it has been "deceitful." The UCI has chosen to publish correspondence between McQuaid and Fahey. McQuaid said: "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, as the attached communications show" (UCI).