Must Read: Nothing to stop UCI from changing anti-doping structure
There is nothing to stop UCI setting up independent anti-doping unit — Inside the Games
Despite UCI president Pat McQuaid’s claims on Wednesday, cycling’s world governing body is able to move its anti-doping management to an independent third party, a World Anti-Doping Agency spokesperson said on Wednesday.
Olympics-focused website Inside the Games was first to report on Wednesday that McQuaid’s claims — made in a scathing response to Brian Cookson’s campaign manifesto for the presidential office — were false.
“Please be informed that under the World Anti-Doping Code there are no rules that prevent an international federation to outsource their testing and results management program to an independent body,” the spokesperson said. “For instance, SportAccord conducts testing and results management for some international federations.”
Cookson’s manifesto, which he published on Monday, the same day he presented his campaign in Paris, opened what appears to be a fierce battle for the top chair at the UCI in Aigle, Switzerland. That document focused on six key areas:
1. Revolutionize our approach to anti-doping
2. Embrace openness and transparency
3. Grow cycling worldwide
4. Developing women’s cycling
5. Overhaul the structure of elite road cycling
6. Embrace the future together
“It is essential that we stop the UCI’s public feuding with WADA, the AFLD, USADA, and others,” Cookson wrote. “I will seek immediate peace with these key organizations, and engage with them to resolve areas of dispute. Crucially we must ensure that anti-doping is wholly and genuinely independent of the UCI. At present it is independent in name only, located at UCI headquarters, down the corridor from the president’s office, with all cases managed by the UCI legal department. This is not independence.”
McQuaid, who has not yet been officially nominated for re-election after his home federation in Ireland withdrew its support earlier this year, shot back in a press release on Tuesday.
“Just telling people what they want to hear is easy. He needs to explain how he is going to make it happen,” McQuaid said in a statement distributed for him by a former UCI public relations official. “He must also make a clear statement on whether he believes that cycling has changed, as many of today’s riders have said loudly and clearly. He must also clarify whether he believes cycling is leading the fight against doping, in order to reassure the cycling family that he is prepared to stand up for the sport against those who attack it.”
Cookson will stand for election at the UCI Elite Road World Championships in Florence, Italy, in September.