Zoals wellicht bekend, heb ik me via een web site (www.verbruggen.ch
) verdedigd tegen het, m.b.t. mijn persoon, subjectieve CIRC-rapport
Diezelfde CIRC moest overigens in hun gedetailleerd (en CHF 2.2 miljoen kostende) onderzoek toegeven dat er geen sprake is geweest van enige vorm van medeplichtigheid, laat staan ongepaste betalingen in de Armstrong-, noch in enig andere doping-zaak.
Sterker nog, de CIRC heeft moeten rapporteren dat de UCI een pionier was in anti-doping en menig initiatief nam in dit gevecht; veel meer dan andere Internationale Federaties.
Nu flagrante doping- en corruptie gevallen geconstateerd worden binnen andere sporten is het eens te meer onbegrijpelijk en onverantwoord dat WADA, en met name de heer R. Pound, zich zo heeft laten gaan in een uiterst negatieve en cynische houding t.o.v. wielrennen, wielrenners en de UCI.
Ik kreeg het verzoek van journalisten om een korte samenvatting te maken van de website die inderdaad, in een poging tot absolute volledigheid, zeer gedetailleerd is (heel wat gedetailleerder en objectiever dan het CIRC-rapport!).
Ik heb gemeend om er goed aan te doen om u een kopie te sturen van deze (engelse) samenvatting, opdat u, wanneer u in de toekomst nog over de UCI en de Armstrong-zaak rapporteert, over objectieve achtergrondinformatie kunt beschikken.
The recent revelations about doping in athletics are very painful to read. They are, of course, first and foremost painful for the sport itself. But things are also painfully wrong on a different level.
The former President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Dick Pound is now portraying himself as ‘the great cleaner’ of athletics. However WADA has been aware of the problem that existed in athletics for years – and through all of these years it remained completely silent. It took the media to expose the full extent of the problem in athletics (and, according to recent press reports, maybe other sports as well?) before WADA finally roused itself to take any action whatsoever.
Contrast that attitude to the way that WADA behaved towards cycling, where WADA subjected the UCI and me to a 12-year long hate campaign, in particular from people like Pound and David Howman –latterly joined by USADA with Travis Tygart and Bill Bock. Wild and totally false accusations were bandied about in public, including those of complicity in doping and corruption. These accusations were recklessly tossed into the public forum without giving me any opportunity to provide my thoughts, views or responses.
None of these accusations had even the slightest shred of proof. Instead, they were almost always aired via underhand leaks to the media. The concept of ‘naming and shaming’ took on entirely new dimensions in the world of sport, although it should be said that these totally false accusations – particularly those from Pound – were very quickly withdrawn at the very first sign of a lawsuit.
The final attempt to prove this alleged ‘complicity and corruption’ was to establish a commission of inquiry, called the CIRC, which was set up by the new president of the UCI Brian Cookson in close cooperation with WADA.
Given WADA's close involvement in the appointment of the CIRC members, we were granted little hope that this would actually turn out to be an ‘independent’ commission. WADA is not keen on independent investigating commissions if there is any chance that its own actions and failings might be exposed and that it might therefore come under investigation. Hence the permanent appointment of WADA Board member Dick Pound as the president of the so-called ‘independent’ WADA committees, neatly ensuring that there can never be any serious investigation into WADA’s failings. Likewise, the recent investigations that took place into doping in athletics and in Russia.
The CIRC met almost all of WADA’s expectations of ‘subjectivity’, with a noteworthy role being played by one of its members, Professor Ulrich Haas. Given that he has undertaken regular assignments for WADA, as well as the fact that he accepted to become the chairman of the UCI’s anti-doping tribunal, I believe conflicts of interest should have made him abstain from being a member of the CIRC. I would highlight here a glaring, but typical example of subjectivity and bias relating to WADA: there is a passage within the CIRC report which is critical – but totally factual– highlighting WADA's very dubious role in the so-called ‘Vrijman report’ affair. Unfortunately, this particular passage has only one signatory: the CIRC Chairman, Dick Marty. Professor Haas apparently did not dare to sign off this section of the report. For me, this is disappointing, as well as being very worrying, when even a professor and leading CAS arbitrator is seemingly scared of falling out of favour with WADA.
But, setting aside its many flaws, one thing is extremely important to note – in fact the most important outcome of the CIRC. This totally subjective Commission, co-appointed by WADA, could find no evidence whatsoever of any complicity or corruption within the anti-doping policies of the UCI during my presidency (1991 - 2005), nor indeed during that of my successor, Pat McQuaid (2005-2013). Grudgingly written as they may have been, the following passages are lifted directly from the CIRC report:
- There is no evidence of any attempt by the UCI to cover up alleged positive results from Armstrong – and Armstrong did NOT test positive in the 2001 Tour of Switzerland.
- There is absolutely no evidence of any connection between Armstrong’s donations to the UCI and his test results.
- There is no evidence of any financial arrangement between Armstrong and Verbruggen, or with any other UCI official whatsoever.
- There is no evidence of any connection between Armstrong’s donations to the UCI and the Vrijman report.
- There is no trace of corruption.
- The CIRC does not suggest that the leadership of the UCI knowingly or deliberately allowed doping.
- The CIRC does not suggest that the leadership of the UCI knowingly or deliberately allowed high-profile dopers to continue within the sport, knowing or suspecting them to still be doping.
- The UCI took more initiatives in the fight against doping than many other international federations.
- The UCI was a pioneer in anti-doping.
As for the rest, unfortunately the CIRC report is just an extremely biased ‘anti-Verbruggen’ report. It is littered with basic errors, falsehoods, biased inaccuracies, omissions of material facts, twisted quotes, anonymous testimonies accepted without any examination, violations of the right to be heard and the systematic concealment of the role played by WADA as well as its many failings.
Of these many failings that were ignored by the CIRC, perhaps WADA’s most despicable action was its attempt (together with USADA) to have the Director of the anti-doping laboratory in Lausanne, Professor Martial Saugy, sign a false statement that Armstrong had tested positive in the 2001 Tour of Switzerland and that Verbruggen/UCI had attempted to hide this positive test under the table. This is a particularly serious fact that reveals a great deal about the mentality of WADA and some of its directors. For me, this comes very close to criminal behaviour.
To counter the CIRC/WADA campaign against me, I have had the full CIRC report analysed line-by-line by anti-doping experts and lawyers. This full analysis can be found on my website: www.verbruggen.ch
This analysis has established conclusively that, for all of these many years, the priority of WADA and especially Dick Pound was not to catch Lance Armstrong et al. for doping , but instead to attack my honour and reputation. In short, their political agenda was more important to them than the fight against doping itself– and as a result the real fight against doping was abused for their political purposes.
And haven’t recent revelations proved me right? I’m obviously not judging the allegations that have emerged about the IAAF concerning its inadequate anti-doping policies coupled with its leadership’s complicity and even allegations of serious corruption. The real question must be why WADA and Dick Pound spent 12 long years almost exclusively aiming their criticism at cycling and the UCI, while all during that time they remained far less critical of other International Federations – a complacency that now turns out to be completely unjustified.
Was this an intentional cover-up, or was WADA just fast asleep? This is something that a genuinely INDEPENDENT commission – not one that is controlled by WADA – should investigate. In other words, did WADA leave certain International Federations and/or countries to their own devices, or perhaps even place them under some form of ‘protection’, which is a rumour doing the rounds for some time. These sorts of rumours are highly detrimental to WADA as an institution and to the credibility of the fight against doping in general: they should be fully investigated.
Unfortunately, history has shown that WADA and Dick Pound always manage to prevent any serious investigation into WADA’s doings and goings. I question therefore whether this investigation will ever take place, whether there is any political will among the main WADA stakeholders to allow it to happen.
In the meantime, I do wish to continue to defend my name and reputation.
That is why I am drawing your attention to my website. That is also the reason that I had taken the decision to sue the UCI for publishing the false and damaging CIRC report, one that they did not give me the opportunity to respond to. Moreover, Brian Cookson used the CIRC report to try to further besmirch my reputation, even going so far as to demand the withdrawal of my honorary presidency of the UCI. I had no recourse but to complain to the IOC’s Ethics Commission, which resulted in an agreement whereby Cookson renounced his claim and promised to respect my Honorary Presidency, the UCI would also include a reference on its website to my website with the rebuttal of the CIRC report, and the UCI would pay a contribution towards my costs incurred for my defense against the CIRC report. All of these conditions were included in an agreement that was signed by Cookson, by me and by a representative from the IOC, which I see as clear recognition from the UCI. For my part, I then held off from taking any further action against the UCI.
Having said that, I would also like other people’s misdeeds to be judged objectively. It is for this reason that I have lodged a complaint against Pound, Howman, Tygart and Bock with the Ethics Commission of the IOC, a body that I trust to remain fully objective!
I am also taking other steps to deal with WADA’s misdeeds . It was a serious omission in the past not to create some form of supervisory authority over WADA, such as an Ethics Commission to which an aggrieved party could appeal.
Recently, Dick Pound yet again claimed in the largest Dutch newspaper, De Telegraaf, that I had always covered up Armstrong’s doping and that was why Armstrong was able to continue doping for so long. This is yet another libel – and one that even goes completely against the clear findings of the CIRC.
Pound simply cannot stomach the fact that even the biased CIRC report arrived at the conclusions that I have summarised above– and so he is continuing to try to undermine and distort the truth.
And this only further underlines the importance of my website which I would draw your attention to. If you still have any questions after reading it, I will very gladly discuss them with you.
Meanwhile, I extend my grateful thanks for any time that you spend reading it.