LIDO DI CAMAIORI, Italy (VN) — The western coast of Italy seems a long way from the online buzz surrounding the Cycling Independent Reform Commission’s (CIRC) report. When queried during a pre-race press conference about the significance of the CIRC report, there was a collective shrug of the shoulders.
Defending Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) said he hadn’t read it.
“I haven’t read it, so I really cannot comment on it,” Nibali said when asked during the press conference. “I cannot say anything else, because I haven’t seen it.”
Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) said he might read it, at the end of the season, when he has more time.
“I haven’t thought too much about it. If it’s about the future [of cycling], it’s a good thing, but it’s the journalists who need to do the same thing,” Cancellara said. “I haven’t had time to read it. Maybe I can look at the 200 pages at the end of the season, I haven’t had time yet.”
Only Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) had any real commentary when asked about CIRC, and publicly confirmed that he cooperated with the panel.
“[The report] was something interesting to do,” Contador said. “In my case, they contacted me, and I was happy to have collaborated with them, and to work with them, in the sport that I love and have passion for.”
Contador’s confirmation is significant because Chris Froome (Sky) is the only active rider whose name was publicly revealed when the CIRC report came out Monday. Another half-dozen or so other active riders cooperated on the condition of confidentiality.
A Tinkoff-Saxo spokesperson confirmed to VeloNews that Contador sat down with CIRC officials for a face-to-face interview several months ago. Contador did not say why he did not allow his name to be published in the CIRC report, but he publicly confirmed it Tuesday.
“[The reaction] surprised me a bit yesterday. All the headlines were as if it was something new about the UCI, when it was all old news. How the UCI acted is an old story, everyone already knows it,” Contador continued. “For the rest [of the CIRC report], to speak about some interesting things, I hope that this can help cycling on the way it is going now and that it stays on the good way.”
Contador’s role in the CIRC report relates to his 2010 his clenbuterol case.
There were suggestions that the UCI had attempted to cover up the case, but the CIRC report revealed that the UCI was only initially hesitant about the case because levels of the banned substance were so low. In light of other cases involving accidental consumption from meat contamination, the UCI was slow at moving against Contador. WADA lawyers eventually pressed the case, and Contador was handed down a backdated, two-year ran, resulting in the disqualification of his 2010 Tour de France and 2011 Giro d’Italia victories, among other results.
CIRC wrote it found “no evidence to show that UCI tried to hide the positive test of Alberto Contador,” but added a comment about how Contador was notified by the UCI before the case was formally filed, writing, “Several interviewees have, however, explained that they found it odd that the rider was notified in person in his country about his [positive test], as this was not the usual procedure. The CIRC has not found any other example where this procedure has been followed by other riders.”