Summary of criticisms of the CIRC

The CIRC’s report contains a huge number of serious flaws which may be caused by, or at least have resulted in, a woeful lack of neutrality.

Each of these flaws will be analysed point by point in the following “page by page” rebuttal of the CIRC report on this website.

This analysis will show that the report does not reflect reality. It is an “anti-Verbruggen” pamphlet, rather than a serious and objective analysis.

The CIRC report’s serious flaws can be summarised as follows:

  1. Violation of the right of defence
  2. Lack of a factual basis
  3. Statements and omissions that pander to WADA/Dick Pound’s biases
  4. Statements and omissions that pander to Cookson’s biases
  5. False accusations
  6. Biased statements
  7. Facts not provided in their entirety; any relevant elements that favour UCI are ignored
  8. Flawed methodology
  9. Negative framing by giving unfavourable opinions on issues outside the terms of reference

Many of the flaws of the report fall under more than one of these categories.

The numbers, below, all refer to page numbers in the CIRC’s final report, which can be downloaded here: CIRC Report 2015.


1. Violation of my (and other people’s) right of defence

The judgments and opinions of the CIRC about me and my Presidency of the UCI are mostly based upon what has been alleged by people whose identities have been kept anonymous. The report is littered with phrases like “According to some sources… (p. 95)”, “It is reported that …”(p. 103)

Nowhere in the report will you find any reference to what I had to say in response to what the CIRC has blithely accepted as “a matter of fact” on the basis of mere hearsay and innuendo.

The reason for my lack of my response is simple. I was not given the right to respond to the specific allegations that were levelled against me.

Moreover, a 19-page report, accompanied by a great many supporting documents, that I submitted to the CIRC and which contains my views about a number of issues, as well as 44 questions for the CIRC to investigate, is not even given the slightest mention in the CIRC’s final submission.


2. Lack of a factual basis

The factual basis for many of the CIRC report’s opinions and conclusions is either not given at all, or not provided in full.

The CIRC’s opinions are frequently based on statements made by interviewees, rather than on documents that are available in the UCI’s files.

Any document that could in any way contradict the CIRC’s final opinion has been left out of consideration. References to relevant facts could have been made in the report, or in the attachments. However, the report gives readers no opportunity to compare the opinions and conclusions of the CIRC with the underlying facts.

This selective editing of facts and contents of documents has resulted in a final report that is designed only to please Brian Cookson and WADA. It deliberately ignores any element that might disprove their accusations against me, or prove their own “wrongdoings”, or give any credit to the fight against doping by the UCI when it was under my Presidency.


3. Statements and omissions that pander to WADA/Dick Pound’s biases

The report that I submitted to CIRC, a fully-documented report that is highly critical of WADA and Dick Pound, has been totally ignored by the CIRC. My requests to investigate the WADA’s role in a number of different issues that are directly within the CIRC Terms of Reference have also been ignored.

On p90 of the CIRC report, it writes that it was “further asked to conduct a wide-ranging independent investigation into the allegations that implicate the UCI and other governing bodies and officials in respect of their investigation of doping practices”…

Despite this unequivocal mandate, the CIRC only investigated the allegations that implicated the UCI – and none of the allegations that implicated WADA. This is a clear breach of the CIRC’s Terms of Reference.

p65     Where the CIRC writes that Armstrong was tested 200 times by UCI, WADA and USADA cumulatively, CIRC conveniently ignores the fact that out of these 200 tests, WADA had tested Armstrong just 3 times (between 2001 and 2012).

In fact, out of a total of 217 tests on Lance Armstrong, 185 were carried out by UCI, 3 by WADA and 29 by USADA (of which only 12 were done up until 2005).

CIRC also ignores the fact that, for all of these 11 years in question, the UCI had an agreement in place with WADA which stipulated clearly that WADA was given a mandate to conduct out-of-competition tests on riders.

p107   The CIRC’s statement that the “UCI was one of the last federations to accept the WADA Code”, is lifted directly from the frequent and biased claim voiced by Dick Pound. This statement does not explain how the UCI had opted for a systematic process through which the Code was accepted at the same time as its incorporation in UCI’s new anti-doping rules; nor does it acknowledge that the UCI’s new anti-doping rules completely incorporated the Code long before most other IF’s did.

p107   The CIRC provides a link to the original WADA Independent Observer report on the 2003 Tour de France that was contested by the UCI, but it makes no reference to the UCI’s comments and rebuttals.

p108   CIRC blames the UCI for the conflicts with WADA and Dick Pound and calls the UCI’s reactions as “excessive counterattacks”, without mentioning, let alone examining, the statements and actions by WADA and Pound that prompted the UCI’s reaction.

p108   CIRC does not mention that in the UCI/WADA-Pound conflicts, Pound had retracted his false accusations (that had been contested by UCI) when faced with court proceedings, as for the CIRC to do this would have demonstrated that it was not the UCI that was to blame for those conflicts.

p108   CIRC highlights the conflicts between UCI and WADA without mentioning the proposals that the UCI had made to include a mechanism in the WADA Code for resolving such conflicts.

p108   CIRC details the conflicts between UCI and WADA without mentioning the fact that WADA dodged out of mediation proceedings to resolve the conflict about the issues resulting from the Vrijman report.

p108   When reporting on WADA’s role in the world of anti-doping, the CIRC endorses Pound’s point of view; ignores the true mission of WADA as stipulated in its constitution; ignores its own reference to WADA’s mission on page 42; and reports the UCI’s point of view inaccurately in order to point the blame at the UCI.

p131   In footnote 232, CIRC quotes a statement that Dick Pound has many times falsely attributed to me, suggesting that I considered doping as inevitable in the Tour de France. The CIRC report does this without mentioning that I have frequently and consistently denied having ever made any such statement (and CIRC also did this without even presenting me with that false statement and offering me the opportunity to respond).

p182   When reporting on the revelations of the analytical results of Armstrong’s 1999 Tour de France samples, the CIRC writes that the “UCI focused on potential breaches of the relevant rules and how confidential information became public”. This simply parrots the false accusation levied by Dick Pound, an accusation that is unsubstantiated and which contradicts the facts and documents which were available to the CIRC.

p189   Similarly, when he CIRC writes that “the determinative factor for the leak in L’Equipe was that UCI had given Armstrong a copy of his doping control form”, it is simply quoting Dick Pound’s frequent claim, totally ignoring the fact that these documents were obtained under a false pretext.

It is noteworthy that only two members of the CIRC were prepared to put their name to this accusation. The CIRC President, Dick Marty, correctly writes on page 189 of the CIRC Report, that the leak could not have occurred without a violation (by WADA and LNDD) of the obligation to maintain the anonymity of the research samples.

p189-191 Two members of the CIRC did not dare defy WADA to support the obvious conclusion reached by Dick Marty that Armstrong had been targeted with the leak in L’Equipe.

p191   These two CIRC members also did not dare to support the obvious conclusion reached by Dick Marty that WADA and LNDD had indirectly legitimized the breaches of fundamental athletes’ rights by endorsing a targeted leak in the press of Armstrong’s 1999 Tour samples.

p182-191 In the case of Armstrong’s 1999 Tour samples, as well as the Vrijman report, the CIRC ignores the following facts that compromise WADA and/or Mr Pound:

    • The media interview in which the head of the Paris laboratory stated that it was WADA that had asked to include the 1999 Tour de France samples in a research project for refining the EPO method;
    • The fact that WADA accepted that anti-doping samples were used for research without the consent of the athletes concerned, which is a serious violation of athletes’ rights;
    • The fact that WADA forced the Paris laboratory to include the original sample code numbers in the report on the research, which is a serious violation of athletes’ rights;
    • The decision of the IOC Ethics Commission that Dick Pound had violated the Olympic ethics rules by making public statements suggesting that Armstrong had doped based upon the leaked research results.

p209   The CIRC states that the “UCI failed to gain the support of WADA for staging the independent commission that UCI set up in November 2012”, as if an independent commission needs to be supported by WADA. On the contrary, WADA’s power and influence prevent commissions that WADA is involved in setting up from being independent and neutral. This is amply demonstrated by the CIRC itself. The CIRC signally fails to condemn the actions of both Dick Pound and WADA when they discredited and derailed the first independent commission before it had even started its work, in fear that this commission would investigate WADA’s many “wrongdoings” – something the CIRC has not dared to do.

p213   In the same vain, the CIRC writes that any independent commission should be installed by WADA, or have its support. By doing so, the CIRC conveniently protects WADA from any independent investigation in its wrongdoings.

p214   When CIRC condemns “public shaming to put pressure on other stakeholders”, it conveniently ignores a number of outrageous public statements made by Dick Pound that are particularly reprehensible examples of ‘public shaming’, statements for which UCI took Pound to court and which subsequently he retracted.

The CIRC also ignores the fact that David Howman, representing WADA, took part in a meeting of “Change Cycling Now”, a group that was established specifically to remove Pat McQuaid from his position as UCI President.

In the CIRC report, without exception, I am portrayed as the “villain”. The people that I disagreed with, or with whom I had a conflict, are always deemed to be the “good guys”. And in order to paint this grossly distorted picture, the CIRC has made a deliberate and biased decision not to look into, or report on, the background of any of the conflicts.


4. Statements and omissions that pander to Brian Cookson’s biases

The CIRC report makes no reference to the raid on the UCI headquarters to confiscate computers and copy all data, including private data.

p20     Today the UCI administration is putting in place policies and initiatives, and improving external relationships, which are for the benefit of cycling

This statement bears no relation to the CIRC’s Terms of Reference. In addition, it is written as though no such policies and initiatives had been taken in the past.

p20     Today the UCI administration… is improving external relationships…

This is an exact copy-paste of Brian Cookson’s election manifesto text.

p70     The CIRC believes that women’s elite road cycling is under-developed and potentially offers a great opportunity for cycling…

This statement, as well as other remarks concerning “poor support for women’s cycling in the past”, has nothing to do with the CIRC’s Terms of Reference but are, once again, taken from Cookson’s manifesto.

p135   Today nearly half of all the urine samples taken are tested for EPO…

However, in the report’s note (on page 241), it is made clear that this refers to the situation in 2012, when Brian Cookson was not in charge of the UCI.

p221   Although recommending that UCI revamps the Ethics Commission to ensure that it is independently appointed, the CIRC apparently absolves Cookson of nominating people of his choice; the CIRC suggests that under Cookson the Ethics Commission’s mandate has been linked to the president’s term in office, which was not the case before Cookson took office, without criticizing Cookson for this change.


5. False accusations

p83     The CIRC writes that “…journalists are often confronted with law suits…” [from the UCI]. FACT: the UCI has only sued the journalist Paul Kimmage, because he falsely accused the UCI of corruption. The CIRC itself has demonstrated that Kimmage’s accusation was indeed incorrect and completely unjustified.

p94     Writing about the ProTour, the CIRC writes: “the UCI wanted control of the TV-rights”. FACT: this is not true, nor has any evidence been provided by CIRC to back up this assertion.

p118   The CIRC writes: “the 50% hct rule condoned the use of EPO to a certain limit … the message was ‘you could dope but not too much’”. FACT: this is libellously false.

p124   The CIRC claims that “riders suspected of doping were warned instead of targeted” . FACT: actually, both were done: riders who had been warned were also targeted – and some were subsequently caught, such as Tyler Hamilton and Raimondas Rumsas.

p127   The CIRC report says “the definition of ICT was made wide in order to keep NADO’s out”. FACT: this is false.

p129   The CIRC report says “UCI had a policy of backdated prescriptions”. FACT: this is totally untrue and the CIRC has provided no evidence whatsoever for this allegation.

p133   The CIRC report says “if possible the case was managed away”. FACT: once again, this is totally untrue and the CIRC has provided no evidence whatsoever to back up this allegation.

p131   In footnote 232, CIRC quotes a statement that Dick Pound has often falsely attributed to me, suggesting that I considered doping as inevitable in the Tour de France. The CIRC quotes Pound without mentioning the fact that I have always vehemently denied ever having made any such statement. Nor has the CIRC ever asked me about this false statement.

p132   The CIRC report says the “UCI was against abuse of doping substances, rather than use … you may dope unless it is really bad for your health”. FACT: the UCI has always had a zero tolerance for the use of doping substances. As with so many of these false accusations, the CIRC offers no evidence or substantiation in support.

p133   The CIRC writes: “UCI condoned the use of doping as long as it stayed within acceptable limits”. FACT: this is a completely false and unsubstantiated statement.

p133   According to the CIRC, the UCI demonstrated “no commitment to push the limits of antidoping beyond health protection” (an accusation also made on page 10). FACT: once again, this is a completely false and unsubstantiated statement.

p144   CIRC writes: “the issue of USADA/UCI jurisdiction for results management … in the case of Lance Armstrong was raised for protecting Armstrong” [during the McQuaid era]. FACT: the issue of jurisdiction could not protect Armstrong because, in any event, WADA and USADA could appeal to CAS should an independent commission – as had been proposed by UCI – have found that Armstrong had no case to answer.

p150   The CIRC presents the UCI’s legal action against Floyd Landis (resulting from his false accusations of corruption in the UCI) as being sanctions for Landis being a whistle-blower. (The report also referred to this on p 166). FACT: quite the reverse, the UCI tried to get the anti-doping violations that had been signalled by Landis investigated by USADA.

p159   The CIRC report cites “constant directions from UCI management in relation to anti-doping operations”, without specifying one single direction.

p159   The CIRC reports cites “close relationships between UCI leadership and riders, which falsely insinuates that this was a general practice, while only mentioning Armstrong in the report (with whom there was no close relationship, as will be explained).

p170   The CIRC suggests, without any evidence, that I was aware in 1997 that Laurent Brochard’s prescription had been backdated. This is totally false.

p182   The CIRC report writes that, regarding the revelations of the analysis results of Armstrong’s 1999 Tour de France samples, “UCI focused on potential breaches of the relevant rules and how confidential information became public”. FACT: this is a false and unsubstantiated accusation that has been repeatedly aired by Dick Pound. It is in total contradiction of all of the facts and documents which were fully available to the CIRC.

p188   The CIRC report says the “UCI limited the scope of the Vrijman report”. FACT: this is false, unsubstantiated and in total contradiction to all of the facts and documents available to the CIRC which prove the exact opposite

p203   The CIRC report says: “It was Hein Verbruggen that selected Pat McQuaid as his successor.” FACT: the European Confederation and, following that, the UCI Management Committee selected Pat McQuaid as a candidate for the presidential elections.


6. Biased statements

p31     The CIRC, writing about Pedro Delgado being found to have used probenecid, says Delgado “received no penalty and was permitted to complete, and win, the Tour of 1988”. This falsely gives the impression that the UCI had given permission to a doper to continue to race. However, on page 32 of the report, the CIRC goes on to note that probenecid was not on the UCI’s list of prohibited substances, which was, of course, the reason why Delgado could not be sanctioned and taken out of the Tour.

p32     The CIRC writes that “the stated purpose of the heamatocrit rule was to protect health and safety measure and to prevent further deaths from EPO”. If the CIRC wanted to suggest that the stated purpose was not the real purpose, it should have added that the real purpose was at least to reduce the use of EPO until a reliable test for detecting EPO could be developed. It is completely false that the haematocrit rule was implemented to prevent further deaths from EPO because, at that point, there was no proof that riders had died from using EPO. The CIRC provides no proof of that either. This does not exclude the possibility that some riders may have died from using EPO, rather that it was not known at the time.

p104   The CIRC report alludes to “secret meetings between Hein Verbruggen, Lon Schattenberg and Philippe Verbiest”, which is mere scandal-mongering, and alleges, without a scintilla of evidence or substantiation, that important decisions in anti-doping were taken during these meetings.

p107   The CIRC claims the “UCI was one of the last federations to accept the WADA Code”, without mentioning that the UCI had opted for a systematic process whereby the Code was accepted at the same time as UCI’s new anti-doping rules – and that these new UCI rules completely incorporated the Code well before most other IF’s had done so. This took time, of course. The UCI had accepted the Code and had instigated completely new, Code-compliant anti-doping rules well before the official deadline for accepting the Code had passed.

p111   The CIRC report claims that “the poor relationship with WADA, AFLD, USADA hampered anti-doping at UCI” without explaining how and who was responsible for this poor relationship. It goes on to make a false allegation that the UCI was responsible for the poor state of the relationships.

p128   The CIRC report says “the exclusion of [Marco] Pantani [from the 1999 Giro] was not seen as a success”. This is false and unsubstantiated.

p129   The CIRC report alleges that “sanctions were lenient” (with reference to CAS decisions imposing the sanctions). No background is given about the evolution in sanctions, in particular that, from 2001, UCI anti-doping rules provided for harsher sanctions than the WADA Code of 2004. Nor does the CIRC report the UCI’s complete position concerning sanctions, together with all its nuances, and the CIRC report has omitted to attach the relevant documents containing these positions so readers cannot see them to come to their own judgments.

p131   The CIRC report, commenting about statements made by me about the problem of doping in cycling, says “After 1992, similar public statements became rare”. The CIRC makes this accusation without making even the slightest effort to look for any such statements. It completely ignores, for example, the statement I made in 1999, which I had even forwarded to the CIRC, and it did not even bother to ask me whether I had made any statements since 1992.

p136   The CIRC claims: “Until 2004/2005 no real TUE-process had been implemented by the UCI”. The same statement is made on page 130 and ignores the fact that, before the Code was introduced, the UCI had never granted a TUE. The CIRC report confuses TUEs, which were introduced in 2004 by the Code, with the various regimes for substances that were authorized to be used in certain ways, or under specific conditions, and which were specified in the list of prohibited substances. These regimes had existed before the Code and continued to exist under the Code. Since the UCI did not grant TUEs before the Code applied, there was naturally no TUE process.

p143   Under a section in the report entitled “the period of improvement, 2006-2013”, the CIRC writes that the relations with laboratories were and are good, conveniently ignoring the fact that relations were good – even excellent – before that. It also ignores the fact that, in the 1990s, the UCI collaborated extensively with laboratories in research to find new detection methods (for testosterone, EPO) and invested considerable funds into these research projects.

p166   The CIRC report signally fails to mention that if Armstrong told Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton the completely fabricated story about “making tests go away”, Armstrong encouraged Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton to dope. The CIRC does not mention that USADA completely failed to accuse Armstrong of encouraging other athletes to dope, in order that USADA could give credit to this false story. The CIRC also fails to mention that WADA let this happen.

p172   When reporting on Armstrong’s 1999 corticosteroid case, the CIRC fails to mention the reason given by the UCI for its decision in the matter; instead it makes the false suggestion that the backdating of Armstrong’s prescription was visible to the UCI. The letter written by the UCI’s legal counsel is also quoted selectively, leaving out the main argument.

p195   The CIRC reports that, according to “a source”, the UCI’s warning that a new detection method was to be introduced had the effect that riders started to produce normal performances during a stage race. The CIRC adds that it had not been able to corroborate this. But neither has the CIRC sought to corroborate accusations made by many people against the UCI.

p201   The CIRC does not even attempt to qualify its false statement that “the main [anti-doping] decisions were taken by Hein Verbruggen, Lon Schattenberg and Philippe Verbiest”, for example whether any of these supposed decisions were good or bad for anti-doping.

p202   The CIRC blames the UCI for having brought legal cases against different people, but it does so without mentioning the relevant grounds for the UCI taking these actions, thereby insinuating that somehow the UCI was to blame.


7. Facts not provided in their entirety and any elements that favour the UCI ignored

In the CIRC report, there is no mention of the many anti-doping actions taken by the UCI, such as in cases including Marco Pantani, Raimondas Rumsas, Johan Museeuw, Michael Rasmussen, Iban Mayo, Alejandro Valverde, Alexander Vinokourov, Andrey Kashechkin, Jan Ullrich, as well as the Puerto files …

p37     For some factual elements, the CIRC refers to the decision of the court of appeals of Douai in the Festina case. But the CIRC then proceeds to ignore the fact that the court examined all of the actions of UCI in the 1990s based on all of the relevant files and by hearing from all parties concerned – and that the court then concluded that the UCI had done everything that it could reasonably do in the fight against doping.

p56     The CIRC states that the UCI, WADA and USADA tested Armstrong 200 times cumulatively, but it carefully conceals the fact that WADA had tested Armstrong only three times and that USADA had tested him 29 times (and only 12 times up until 2005).

p74     When the CIRC comments on the risks of doping in the Grand Tours, it ignores the fact that the ProTour was designed to eliminate, or at least reduce, these risks by bringing more stability for sponsors and riders.

p79     The CIRC ignores the proposals made by the UCI to amend the Code so that it would be impossible, or more difficult, for former dopers to be involved in the management of sports teams.

p86     The CIRC does not mention that the UCI opposed amending article 2.4 of the Code on filing failures and missed tests. This amendment meant that an athlete could have more filing failures and missed tests without being sanctioned.

p96     If the CIRC grudgingly admits that the UCI has been a pioneer in anti-doping, it then deliberately omits to give examples of this, let alone list all the anti-doping initiatives for which UCI was a pioneer, or describe them in the same detail as the accusations made against the UCI. Had it done this, it would have significantly changed the negative picture painted by the CIRC report – and it should also have changed its conclusions.

p107   The CIRC claims that “UCI was the last IF to accept the Code”, but it makes no mention of the process followed by UCI that implied simultaneous drafting of new anti-doping rules incorporating the Code. Indeed, there was no obligation for accepting the Code any earlier.

p107   The CIRC makes reference to the original WADA Independent Observer report on the 2003 Tour de France, but it omits the comments and rebuttals made by the UCI.

p107   The CIRC highlights the conflicts between UCI and WADA but it ignores the UCI’s contributions to WADA.

p107   The CIRC gives a simplified view of the UCI’s position on sanctions for doping, ignoring the fact that, before the Code, harsher sanctions could be imposed under the UCI rules than under the Code.

p111   The CIRC claims “the poor relationship with WADA, AFLD, USADA hampered anti-doping at UCI” without explaining how and who was responsible for this situation.

p118   “Jan Ullrich is reported to have been involved in doping”, the CIRC alleges, conveniently ignoring the fact that Ullrich had been prosecuted for doping by UCI (together with the Swiss Olympic Committee) and had been suspended for two years. In footnote 194, the CIRC makes reference to the CAS decision (Ulrich Haas, one of the members of the CIRC was on the CAS panel), which effectively condemned Ullrich for doping. Had I said that a rider was reported to have doped, while in truth he had been condemned by CAS for doping, that would have been held against me.

p128   The CIRC claims that “UCI OOC tests produced so few AAFs” but gives no details and does not mention, for example, that UCI OOC tests produced more AAFs than WADA’s OOC tests in cycling.

p146   The CIRC only mentions the procedural mistake by the Anti-Doping Unit concerning the fourth warning against Michael Rasmussen (in 2007), but not the action taken by UCI which led to Rasmussen’s two-year suspension for providing false whereabouts information [McQuaid era]

p164   The CIRC says the “UCI was informed of 2002 Dauphiné-Libéré suspicious sample of Armstrong” but does not mention the different position taken by the sole person at UCI who would have been informed, which was available to the CIRC in the files.

p170   In the Laurent Brochard case, the role and decision of the French Federation not to proceed against Brochard is not mentioned by the CIRC report.

p173   When drawing its conclusions about Armstrong’s 1999 corticosteroids case, the CIRC report makes no mention of the UCI’s arguments supporting its decision.

p179   The CIRC makes no mention of the intense UCI testing programme targeting Lance Armstrong prior to his return in 2009 [McQuaid era].

p219   The CIRC recommends that the UCI increases its funding of research into anti-doping, but completely ignores the important funding given to such projects during the 1990s and in subsequent years.

Except for some undeniable and generally known facts, the CIRC report systematically fails to report anything that might possibly show the UCI in a good light. In doing so, the CIRC report has not acknowledged:

  • that the UCI has consistently throughout the past 20 years shown a robust anti-doping stance;
  • that any failures and omissions by the UCI are just that: failures and omissions – and not, as the CIRC consistently suggests, a policy of leniency or acceptance of doping;
  • that readers of the CIRC report can see nuances and so form their own opinions.


8. Flawed methodology

Many opinions of the CIRC are based solely on statements made by anonymous people – and reported as so-called ‘fact’ using phrases such as “it has been reported that” and “UCI staff stated that”… There is no evidence that the CIRC has checked whether any of these anonymous statements are correct, or not.

A truly independent CIRC should have been very cautious about doing this. On page 90 of the report, the CIRC states that “many interviewees spoke of conspiracy and corruption”, but the CIRC was then unable to find any evidence of conspiracy or corruption. It is not clear, therefore, why the CIRC should have blithely accepted the unsubstantiated statements made by these anonymous interviewees.

There is no indication whether the CIRC assessed the reliability of the statements, many of which I contest.

The report contains many individual opinions, which are quite often different or contradictory. By way of example, pages 60-61 and 74-75 contain several individual views on one page. The report is composed of a great deal of personal opinion and diatribe, rather than providing evidence or rigorous analysis that should have been carried out by the CIRC itself into the real causes and mechanisms that make athletes dope. I accept that this may have been a task that the CIRC did not have the resources to deliver, but in that case the CIRC should have been much more reserved and circumspect in presenting its conclusions.

Sometimes the opinions the CIRC reports are vague and sensational, such as the claim that “UCI staff informed the CIRC that, on several occasions, riders selected for testing had been observed to adopt unusual attitudes” (page 123). What on earth does that mean?

On page 163, the CIRC report makes a statement which is backed up by the phrase “according to the CIRC’s sources”. This is meaningless in a rigorous investigation: a reader can have no idea about the identity and reliability of these anonymous sources. In similar vein, on page 193, CIRC accusations are based solely on the evidence of “one source said”.

On pages 194 and 195 of the report, the CIRC refers to a letter “of 2008” and a letter “of 2007”, which make it very difficult even for me to find and check those letters.

At different places in its report (such as on pages 122 and 144), the CIRC rightly condemns the “public shaming” and the publishing of allegations based only upon hearsay. But the CIRC then proceeds to do exactly the same thing: it has not only published unsubstantiated allegations but also negative judgments, all without a full investigation. Apparently the CIRC believes that the principles of sound investigation should only apply to other people, but not to Hein Verbruggen.

Another time, what is first reported as a mere possibility is subsequently presented as a fact by the CIRC report. On page 149, for example, the CIRC says “It seems that the primary focus of UCI was on the (difficult) disciplinary aspects of the cases… The focus, thus, was on the individual aspect of the case… “ [my emphasis added].

In its mission to pin blame onto me, the CIRC sometimes abandons any attempt at logic, such as:

p188   Writing about the Vrijman report, the CIRC reports that the UCI had to target-test Armstrong following the L’Equipe article in August 2005 of the analysis of the 1999 samples. This would have been extremely difficult given the fact that Armstrong had already stopped cycling before the article in L’Equipe was even published.

p192   The CIRC writes that the UCI should have been more circumspect with Armstrong and target-test him actively because of the suspicions of doping surrounding him. The CIRC then lists nine suspicions, six of which date from after the article in L’Equipe in August 2005 and after Armstrong had bid his first farewell to cycling!


9. Negative framing by giving unfavourable opinions on issues outside the terms of reference

The CIRC report provides negative opinions on a number of issues that have nothing to do with its Terms of Reference, such as:

  • The alleged underdevelopment of women’s elite road cycling (page 70)
  • The governance of the UCI, including my succession by Pat McQuaid (pages 201-210)
  • Issues surrounding technical cheating and race fixing (pages 85-86)
  • The UCI’s conflict with ASO (page 94)
  • The candidature of Paris for the 2012 Olympic Games (page 95)

From this, it becomes crystal clear that the CIRC was just looking for as many issues as possible that it throw at me to blacken my name, in particular given that it had totally failed to find any evidence whatsoever of corruption at the UCI, or concealed tests. It is also clear that in trying to deliver this character assassination, the CIRC was seeking to please Brian Cookson and WADA, as well as other people who held a historic grudge against me.

Powered by WordPress | Designed by Elegant Themes