The Cycling Independent Reform Commission report into doping has stunned the world of cycling. The report severely criticized former UCI leaders, Hein Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid, of leading a catastrophic episode of events that left the credibility of cycling in tatters.
The CIRC's 228-page report was the culmination of an investigating lasting for 13 months into how doping in cycling reached its heights and whether the International Cycling Union (UCI) had been complicit.
The three-man CIRC panel found that Lance Armstrong was “protected” and given “preferential treatment” by the world governing body of cycling. It however quashed allegations that Armstrong paid the UCI to cover up failed drugs tests. The CIRC report disclosed that both men failed on grounds of governance, transparency, and prudence and actually turned a blind eye to the extent of the doping by Lance Armstrong and many others. The report also said the world governing body of cycling gave more emphasis on managing the image of cycling rather than solving problems of the sport.
It was also revealed in the Cycling Independent Reform Commission's report that riders are still making use of banned methods and techniques such as ozone therapy that involves extraction of blood, treatment with ozone, and injecting the blood back into the body. The CIRC report went on to reveal that some cyclists are still making the use of anabolic androgenic steroids and also said that riders can still escape getting detected with micro-doses of Erythropoietin (EPO). It also said that the abuse of Therapeutic Use Exemptions has become a significant problem and the UCI should consider the idea of night-time testing of cyclists and should establish an independent whistleblower desk.
The CIRC report concludes that there is no straightforward solution to the problem of doping in cycling and that one important message that UCI and all stakeholders must keep to the fore is that the fight against doping is a continual process.
Lance Armstrong, in response to the publication of the report, released a statement on his website that read that he is grateful to CIRC for seeking the truth and allowing him to assist in that search. The disgraced cyclist, who won seven consecutive Tour de France titles from 1998 to 2005, said he is deeply sorry for many things he had done. The ex-cyclist, who received a lifetime ban, said it is his hope that revealing the truth will lead to a bright, dope-free future for the sport he loves, 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 his friends, teammates, and opponents faced.
Armstrong’s attorney, Elliot Peters, said Lance Armstrong cooperated fully with CIRC and he met in person for two full days with CIRC senior investigators, including Peter Nicholson and Ulrich Haas, answered every question they asked without any restrictions, agreed to meet again if they wanted, and provided all documents requested to which he had access.