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CIRC report: The reactions

The reactions to the CIRC report began coming in before the report itself was released to the public

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Reactions to the release of the Cycling Independent Reform Commission’s report began rolling in before the report itself was officially made public.

Travis T. Tygart, CEO of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency:

“We welcome the report of the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) initiated by new UCI President Brian Cookson to address revelations of widespread doping and allegations of UCI’s complicity in allowing this fraudulent culture to persist.

“The report confirms that, for more than a decade, UCI leaders treated riders and teams unequally — allowing some to be above the rules. The UCI’s favoritism and intentional failure to enforce the anti-doping rules offends the principles of fair play and is contrary to the values on which true sport is based.

“Sadly, the report confirms that greed, power, and profit — not truth — motivated UCI leaders and allowed the ‘EPO’ and ‘blood doping’ era to ride rampant. This is a tragic loss for all cyclists who sought to compete clean during that era, and their loss can never be forgotten.

“A stunning example of deceit found by the CIRC is that the UCI, under the explicit direction of Hein Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid, commissioned a supposedly ‘independent’ investigation of Armstrong’s positive samples from the Tour de France. According to the CIRC, the UCI then conspired to allow what was sold to the public as an ‘independent’ report to be re-written by Armstrong’s own lawyer and sports agent in order to conceal Armstrong’s doping.

“USADA will work with the current UCI leadership to obtain the evidence of this sordid incident to ensure that all anti-doping rule violations related to this conduct are fully investigated and prosecuted, where possible.

“The CIRC has also confirmed that during USADA’s case against Armstrong in 2012, and under the direction of former UCI President Pat McQuaid, the UCI intentionally adopted an inaccurate position on its own anti-doping rules in order to try to derail USADA’s case against Armstrong and his co-conspirators. Here again, McQuaid’s actions were intended to prevent the truth about Armstrong’s doping and the UCI’s complicity in it from being exposed.

“We commend President Brian Cookson for his resolve and for promptly taking steps upon his election to secure the UCI’s servers and electronic data to preserve this important evidence of the UCI’s wrongdoing. We applaud President Cookson for publishing the CIRC report uncensored.

“As noted by the CIRC report, under President Cookson’s leadership the UCI is engaged in promising reforms of its anti-doping operations. We are encouraged by President Cookson’s commitment to strong partnerships with independent national anti-doping organizations whose only mission is to ensure a level playing field for all athletes. The clear message of the CIRC Report is what we have always said — sport cannot effectively both promote and police itself, without the support of independent anti-doping organizations. As the past story of the UCI demonstrates, the race for power and profit by sport leaders can overrun integrity, fair play, and the rights of clean athletes.

“USADA has been working closely with the UCI this year to implement a series of reforms that we believe hold promise for the future of clean cycling. Ultimately, the success of cycling’s transformation will be measured by how successfully the UCI implements these reforms to bring about new accountability, independence, and transparency into its processes.  The CIRC report is a strong first step in moving past the failures of the past, and USADA remains committed to working with the UCI to bring about a brighter future for clean cycling.”

Lance Armstrong:

“I am grateful to CIRC for seeking the truth and allowing me to assist in that search. I am deeply sorry for many things I have done. However, it is my hope that revealing the truth will lead to a bright, dope-free future for the sport I love, and will allow all young riders emerging from small towns throughout the world in years to come to chase their dreams without having to face the lose-lose choices that so many of my friends, teammates, and opponents faced. I hope that all riders who competed and doped can feel free to come forward and help the tonic of truth heal this great sport.”

Hein Verbruggen:

Speaking with the Dutch news agency ANP

“There is a lot of what we could have done better, but that’s easy to say 25 years later. And there is a lot of criticism of me; I was a dictator and was too close to Armstrong. They had obviously come up with something.”

Graham Bartlett, CEO of Velon

We support the decision of the UCI in taking the steps to Commission this independent CIRC report. We have seen that the report rightly identifies a number of historic issues within the sport and its management, it was equally encouraging to see the report acknowledge improvements in recent years.

We share the belief that by examining what has happened, as well as how it happened, in the sport we can continue to reduce the areas of concern. It is vital that we look forward and put the appropriate measures in place that will benefit all those involved in the sport and ultimately the fans.

We were encouraged to read that the report recognises and recommends changes to areas such as the race calendar and the financial stability of the teams and will be reviewing the findings and recommendations in more depth. We look forward to the opportunity to discuss all recommendations referenced in the report with the UCI to understand how we can work together for the benefit of the sport.

Our focus remains the same – Velon will continue to strive for a fairer, cleaner sport and build a future for the sport that fans, sponsors, riders, media, and teams can trust and believe in.