Consultation overload

December 13, 2012

The UCI is funding the “UCI Independent Commission” (UCIIC) looking into whether or not it is complicit in the doping problems ransacking the sport. Some expect good things from the UCIIC, others think it’s window-dressing because the man suggesting its members has close ties to McQuaid & Verbruggen. I’m willing to keep an open mind.

Simultaneously, the UCI is starting a “wide-ranging consultation exercise involving all cycling’s stakeholders to build a bright future for cycling and work together to tackle issues of concern within the sport.” Although the focus is very different (looking at the past vs. the future), it feels the two could get in the way of each other.

Furthermore, the written invitation was sent to some, but far from all stakeholders. As I didn’t receive an invite (nor would I have expected one), I’ll offer my free consultation session here.

Probably the oddest part of this consultation is that although some sponsors have received an invite, the concept of “sponsor” is completely absent from the topics of consultation suggested in the letter.

So cycling, the sport with the greatest reliance on sponsors of any major sport (due to its lack of a box office and its relatively low TV contracts) is going to try and build a bright future without discussing how sponsors might feature in it?

Another issue is that the time to respond is excessively short. I received the letter On December 10, not directly from the UCI but via-via-via-via. Several important sponsors I spoke to are unaware of the existence of this letter even today. Yet the final date to respond was on December 10!

Of course the UCI can run any consultation it sees fit, and invite whomever they want. However, if the goal is to truly get input from all stakeholders and really build a bright future, more time, more participants and more topics may be required. Doing so would give the process more credibility.

It may mean that this process ends after the UCIIC reports its findings, which may not be what some intended. But I think that would actually be better; first deal with the past and then with the future. Otherwise, should the UCIIC lay blame with some of people involved in the consultation, it would immediately taint the outcome of said consultation. And that definitely would not help in building a bright future.

14 Responses to “Consultation overload”

  1. Evan Shaw Says:

    Totally agree. Dr. Ashenden is said to have proposed a method that riders and sponsors might buy into, that would actually ensure clean sport. Riders who are clean could have fan trust that indeed they are champions. And sponsors who sign up would not see their investments corrupted nor pressure the UCI to hide things, something they have been all too ready to do.

    Gerard, where I am much more concerned is that the UCI named the person naming people and their lawyers parsed and wrote the terms of reference. NOT GOOD.

    Will they address that the UCI a non for profit can rewrite all their rules so nothing is illegal nor wrong, and form a private for profit company with Mcquaid at the helm, and with him profiting along with others and having misappropriated over 780000 euros from the pro rider reserve and promptly lost it? Let alone claim as they arrogantly do that taking money from a doping suspect is a fine thing and would do so again, having hid it, lied about it, changed their story many times, etc.

  2. Tim Homola Says:

    I sure wish I owned a whitewash factory. Or brooms for sweeping under rugs.

  3. Mark Phillips Says:

    As well as sponsors being rather inappropriately neglected, is there any scope in the Future of Cycling consutation for fans to voice their opinions? If not, how would you propose they are heard?


    • Nope. That was going to me my next blog, but that’s pretty much the answer: Nope. Of course it’s difficult to have the fan heard, or at least to have the fan represented. On the other hand, fans are speaking up all the time, it’s just that few bother to listen.

      Does that matter? In the end fans vote with their feet and their wallets, so as a sport, you ignore fans at your own peril. After all, it’s fans that determine if something is an amateur or a professional sport.

      • Leo Says:

        Logically, then, sponsors should be representing the fans’ opinions, Just good marketting practice?


        • In a way, yes. Maybe not fans’ opinions, but definitely they would realize that what is good for the fan is usually good for them. Of course, everybody should realize this, in a perfect, logical world.

  4. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    It’s become clear to me that NOTHING is going to change unless the crooks running the show are removed. As long as Mr.Mars pulls the strings connected to the Mad Hatter all the inquiries, investigations are meaningless – these two simply don’t GET IT! The news just came out about Il Pistolero’s fine (bribe?) in the tainted steak caper….amount so far remains undisclosed, just like BigTex’ “donation” was.. What planet is the UCI office located on…it can’t be earth! These jokers can’t even SPELL ethics.

  5. BC Says:

    Unlike you, I am not prepared to give the UCIIC any credit until such time as I see real evidence of change. With the two present incumbents this is just more self serving hot air. McQuaid today has opened his big gob (again) and criticized the new forum for change, headed by some very notable, respected and knowledgable people. He even went further, pouring personal scourn on Greg LeMond, one of the members.

    Until we are rid of these self serving autocrats, nothing is going to change. I admire your position on this matter, but you are going to be disapointed, yet again.

    Real change can only come with a new broom at the UCI. Come on National Federations, grow some, get rid of these two and give us all hope for the future.


    • >Unlike you, I am not prepared to give the UCIIC any credit until such time as I see real evidence of change.

      I think that’s probably very close to what Gerard describes as keeping an open mind. You judge them based on the outcome.

      I hope they make changes for good, but I don’t keep my expectations high, either.

  6. Tim Homola Says:

    We don’t need anything swept under the rug. The UCI does need almost a complete house cleaning, certainly the top has to be lopped off.

  7. Don Says:

    When “consultations” are made, it is for a specific “purpose”. The generalizations that describe the reason for this consultation don’t have a specific purpose. Consequently, one can assume that the consultation might be manipulated towards a hidden agenda. Participants will have discomfort if they eventually find that their words are used to support a direction that was not intended.

    Proper consultation involves a “process” rather than a one-time event. With as many stakeholders as cycling has, consultation should be an ongoing process. If this is all of the consultation then it is evident that the UCI plans to continue as a closed shop.

    The “pillars” that this consultation are based, are items that should have resulted from consultation. It is not apparent that they have. I believe this is Gerard’s point about sponsors. The sponsors are one of the pillars.

    The problem with the UCI is its credibility. Until the UCI’s credibility is resolved, consultations may be meaningless. Again, I believe this is what Gerard is saying when he proposes that the past be dealt with first.

    The response by Pat McQuaid concerning Change Cycling Now continues to reveal him as someone not open or receptive to other ideas, challenges or people that are outside of his construct. Chances are, this consultation will lead to a dead end and will be used to rationalize a pre determined agenda.

  8. Evan Shaw Says:

    IT is time that all of us publicize that dirty laundry list of wrongdoings that UCI has done so that the public knows how pervasive and horrible the track record of UCI is. Few know just how terrible it is. For example, pardon the length here Gerard.

    Short list of wrongdoings of UCI

    1. Accepting backdating of steroid prescriptions despite UCI rule must be declared before start of TDF

    2. Knew the the total hematocrit of racers 1999 was so high EPO use rampant, and very high USPS but did nothing, calling it the tour of renewal.

    3. Armstrong casting our Christophe Bassons over clean cycling did nothing.

    4. Knew Armstrong and Kevin Livingston had seen infamous Ferrari and Livingston EPO records were found did nothing

    5. Tour de Suisse triangle otherwise positive test for EPO but lab decides it has to be ludicrous 3 standard deviations from mean to be positive so only suspicious, but UCI accepts money secretly and allows Armstrong to learn how lab works by him visiting lab.

    6. 2005 L’Equipe finds by happenstance that lab that created EPO test doing research has research samples from 1999 TDF and UCI forms with numbers only show match of six EPO high positives that all belong to Armstrong. UCI issues a phony biased friends review and they of course find nothing.

    7. UCI begins to use LA tactics of blame, projection, denial, and rationalization by suing any and all who challenge there wrongful actions. Lemond, Landis, Kimmage.

    8. They threaten to sue to leader of the pro leadership for questioning why Armstrong allowed to come back after retiring with no six month monitoring of his blood.

    9. USADA investigation begins and UCI talks to riders and tells them not to cooperate, they try to stop USADA entirely by personal attacks, demeaning the methods, removing jurisdiction, threatening to appeal, deriding all those who took part as having ulterior motives.

    10. Even while appearing to accept the decision of USADA their lawyers wrote up a paper that outlined a plan for LA to use that would give him grounds to appeal and tipped their hat that they disagreed with decision.

    11. Defamed WADA by baseless accusation of them being anti cycling and personal vendetta language of wanting to do in Mcquaid.

    12. Enormous track record of refusing to talk with numerous riders, witnesses, journalists, anti doping experts, and actually joining in with Armstrong in creating the omerta that has almost destroyed the sport.

    13. Constant unprofessional, arrogant, dictatorial, and castigating communications that demonstrate that to disagree with their draconian monopolistic powers is to be exiled, punished and destroyed.

    14, Started a Private company within their non for profit entity in which Mcquaid and othes will profit from the 800000 euros taken and lost from the pro reserve fund.

    So my friends, should not the terms of reference be what in the world is the reason they have been allowed to do all these things and more and no one fires them and reconfiures this organization?

    • tom hewitt Says:

      If you’re unhappy with the current organization start a new one. If the new one is better than the current one, in whatever terms that might be measured, then the new one will thrive and the current one will become extinct. The constant moaning and groaning about the UCI produces zero improvements. Those with the greatest commitment to the sport should simply move in a different direction.

      • Evan Shaw Says:

        Lincoln said in order to criticize one must be willing to help. I and others like CCN are helping by

        creating a grassroots movement to upend and improve UCI and cycling, union, and fairness to riders and fans.

        Tom, you may not be aware that the UCI and IOC have a huge stranglehold on sports not easily changed. They have a phony democratic voting system that is actually full of graft and corruption and influence bought and paid. They give favors to small countries that have equal votes with large ones and stay in office.

        Tom please criticize but please help sign a CCN petition


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