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Cycling: Pat McQuaid moves to set up independent probe into Lance Armstrong affair

THE International Cycling Union has invited John Coates, president of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, to nominate a three-man independent commission which is to be set up in the wake of the Lance Armstrong scandal.

The UCI announced last month they would establish a fully independent investigation into various accusations levelled at the governing body by the United States Anti-Doping Association, which concluded that Armstrong and his United States Postal Service team ran "the most sophisticated, professional and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen''.

Armstrong was banned for life and all his results from August 1, 1998 were expunged, including his wins at the Tour de France from 1999 to 2005, a move the UCI ratified despite coming under fire themselves from a number of quarters.

Although they denied any wrongdoing, it was decided to commission an independent probe.

Three-time Tour winner Greg LeMond is among those to call for a change of leadership, but president Pat McQuaid and his predecessor Hein Verbruggen, now honorary president, have stood firm.

They have moved quickly to set the ball rolling and have announced today the commission will comprise three members from differing fields.

The first, who will be the chair, will be a senior lawyer, the second a forensic accountant and the third will be an experienced sports administrator. All three will be independent of cycling.

They will decide upon the scope of the investigation with the UCI having drawn up draft terms of reference to address the main issues raised by the USADA report.

According to the UCI, they have already contacted names recommended by Coates for the legal and sports administrator members of the commission, whose final report and recommendations will be published no later than June 1, 2013.

UCI president McQuaid, said: "We would like thank John Coates for his recommendations, which we will follow to the letter.

"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.

"Cycling is one of the world's most popular sports, both for participants and spectators and it has a bright future. Those who will define that future can be found among the current generation of riders who have chosen to prove that you can compete and win clean."