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Volume 6 No. 211

Leagues and Governing Bodies

Lance Armstrong has said that he will cooperate “openly and honestly” with the independent investigation into cycling’s doping culture of the '90s and '00s, according to Josh Burrows of the LONDON TIMES. Int'l Cycling Union (UCI) President Brian Cookson "confirmed the personnel and remit of the three-man investigation, which will be known as the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC)." The commission will be led by Swiss politician and lawyer Dick Marty, who "has experience tackling organised crime and drug abuse." Marty will be assisted by German anti-doping specialist and arbitrator for the Court of Arbitration for Sport Professor Ulrich Haas, and former Australian military officer Peter Nicholson, who has "previously investigated war crimes on behalf of the United Nations." Cookson "also confirmed that the commissioners have been instructed to investigate claims" that the UCI was itself "involved in covering up positive dope tests." Cookson said, "This commission will investigate the problems cycling has faced in recent years, especially the allegations that the UCI has been involved in wrongdoing in the past -- allegations which have done so much to hurt the credibility of the UCI and our sport" (LONDON TIMES, 1/8).

MIXED MESSAGES: In London, Ben Rumsby reported Cookson set a deadline of the end of the year for the commission to complete its work and "vowed that it would be completely autonomous." The UCI announcement came as Armstrong's mixed messages over his involvement with the commission "continued after he vowed to co-operate 'openly and honestly' with it but also declared that position to be 'unchanged.'" Reacting to news that the UCI was on the brink of announcing the composition and terms of reference of a commission that will focus heavily on the Armstrong era, "the disgraced American took to Twitter to reiterate his willingness to come clean." That is despite having previously indicated his conditions for doing so would be a guarantee he would be "treated like everybody else," particularly in relation to amnesties being given in exchange for testimony. He posted on Twitter, "My position remains unchanged. I plan on cooperating openly & honestly w/ ANY UCI commission that contacts me" (TELEGRAPH, 1/8). The BBC reported Cookson added the UCI is talking to the World Anti-Doping Agency about "how best to incentivise people to cooperate" with the commission (BBC, 1/8).

After a wave of election-related violence, officials said that Pakistan "will send an official to assess security in Bangladesh before next month’s cricket Asia Cup." Violence linked to polls in Bangladesh has claimed more than 150 lives since October, but the Asian Cricket Council said that "the country would still host the five-nation tournament" due to start on Feb. 25 (AFP, 1/8). ... The FIA Formula E Championship revealed the first eight drivers to show their support for the new fully-electric race series by signing up for its official Formula E Drivers’ Club. Sebastien Buemi, Marco Andretti, Karun Chandhok, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Adrien Tambay, Ma Qing Hua, Lucas di Grassi and Takuma Sato have all committed to the new scheme, giving their official endorsement to the championship together with their willingness to race in the future. The announcement also means that Lucas di Grassi will no longer act as the only official Formula E test driver (Formula E).