UCI asks CAS president to help choose inquiry team

Associated Press

GENEVA (AP) — The International Cycling Union turned to the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Wednesday for help in choosing a team to investigate the governing body's links to the Lance Armstrong doping case.

Australian lawyer John Coates, the president of the sports court's board, has suggested names for a three-member inquiry panel that soon will begin work.

"We would like to thank John Coates for his recommendations, which we will follow to the letter," UCI President Pat McQuaid said in a statement.

The commission will include a "respected senior lawyer," a forensic accountant and an experienced sports administrator all "independent of cycling," the embattled governing body said.

The UCI said it already has contacted lawyers and sports officials recommended by Coates, who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee executive board.

The inquiry is seen as a key to restoring the UCI's damaged credibility following the Armstrong affair. A report and recommendations are due by June 1.

On the panel's agenda will be accusations that cycling's leaders covered up suspicious doping tests given by Armstrong during his 1999-2005 run of Tour de France victories, and unethically accepted donations totaling $125,000 from him.

The longstanding claims were revived by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report last month that detailed massive doping by Armstrong's teams, but were not directly addressed in a 1,000-page dossier of evidence.

"The purpose of this independent commission is to look into the findings of the USADA report and ultimately to make conclusions and recommendations that will enable the UCI to restore confidence in the sport of cycling and in the UCI as its governing body," said McQuaid, who was elected its president weeks after Armstrong's record seventh victory.

Hein Verbruggen, McQuaid's predecessor, remains honorary president and has been the target of severe criticism for leading the UCI during an era when a culture of doping allowed Armstrong's teams to dominate the sport's greatest event by cheating.

The UCI endorsed USADA's findings last month, banning him for life and stripping Armstrong of all of his race results since August 1998, including the seven Tour titles.

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