Sir Philip Otton, a former UK Court of Appeal judge, has been appointed to chair the independent commission tasked with probing the much-criticised role of the UCI, cycling’s world governing body, in the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.
Otton will be assisted by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Great Britain’s most successful Paralympian, and Australian lawyer Malcolm Holmes.
The commission has been created, at the invitation of the UCI, by one of its chief critics, John Coates, president of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport, president of the Australian Olympic Committee and an International Olympic Committee member.
The UCI’s decision to form the commission followed criticism of its actions in a devastating report on the doping conspiracy surrounding Armstrong published by the US Anti-Doping Agency.
It was USADA's damning 1,000-page report that led to Armstrong's life ban and the stripping his seven Tour de France titles.
UCI president Pat McQuaid, who has faced calls to quit in the wake of the scandal, said today: "The commission’s report and recommendations are critical to restoring confidence in the sport of cycling and in the UCI as its governing body. We will co-operate fully with the commission and provide them with whatever they need to conduct their enquiry and we urge all other interested stakeholders to do the same. We will listen to and act on the commission’s recommendations."
The commission will hold a hearing in London between April 9 and 26, 2013, after which it will submit its report to the UCI by June 1 or shortly after.
McQuaid added: "Some of our critics have suggested that this commission would not be fully independent. They were wrong. The UCI had no influence on the selection of the commission members.
"The appointment of these three eminent figures demonstrates clearly that the UCI wants to get to the bottom of the Lance Armstrong affair and put cycling back on the right track. Rather than simply attacking the UCI, our critics now have an opportunity to be part of the solution. I would ask them, therefore, to make their representation to the Independent Commission – and to start to put cycling first.
"The costs of the Independent Commission will be a significant burden on the UCI, however it is clear that only such a decisive and transparent examination of the past will answer our critics by thoroughly examining our assertion that the UCI’s anti-doping procedures are and have been among the most innovative and stringent in sport."
Meanwhile, Greg LeMond, the three-time winner of the Tour de France, has joined Change Cycling Now, the new pressure group set up to force change at the UCI following the Armstrong scandal.
LeMond, who won the Tour in 1986, 1989 and 1990, has been an outspoken critic of doping within cycling, and last month called for McQuaid to resign.
The US cycling legend will be in London on December 2 and 3 when Change Cycling Now meets for the first time to propose a "positive vision" for the sport.
The group is holding the UCI to account for "alleged mishandling" of the sport's global image in the wake of the Armstrong doping scandal and will discuss proposals that offer "an alternative approach to reinvigorate a sport that is suffering from a globally damaged reputation."
LeMond said: "There is still an opportunity to ensure cycling presents itself as a genuine world leader in the elimination of doping and drug taking in sport. But to do that requires a determination to force change and I am delighted to be part of a group that is full of people who are committed to the cause."
LeMond will be joined by former professional riders Jonathan Vaughters and Eric Boyer on the panel. Vaughters is a former team mate of Armstrong's in the U.S. Postal Services team, and is now president of the International Association of Professional Cycling Groups, while Boyer is a former Tour de France stage winner and former team manager at Cofidis.
Change Cycling Now has been co-ordinated by Australian businessman Jaimie Fuller, whose Skins sportswear company sponsors cycling teams and national federations. Earlier this month, Skins announced it was suing the UCI for $2 million for damage to its reputation caused by the Armstrong scandal, even though it has never sponsored either Armstrong or the UCI.
Fuller said: "As a Tour de France winner, Greg LeMond’s involvement should send the clearest message yet that we are a serious group with serious intentions and genuine motives.
"The sheer fact that these people are prepared to give up their time and travel, in some cases half way around the world to participate, reflects both their passion as well as their desire to see cycling achieve the best outcome."
Other members of Change Cycling Now include Paul Kimmage, a former rider and now a journalist, and David Walsh, chief sports writer for the UK's Sunday Times newspaper, who has written four books on Armstrong including L.A. Confidential: Les secrets de Lance Armstrong.
Kimmage, formerly of the Sunday Times, was the subject of a lawsuit served by McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen, the former presidents of the UCI, after he made accusations of corrupt practice linked to the Armstrong case.
The action was subsequently suspended and earlier this month, Kimmage served a counter-claim for defamation.
In the suit, Kimmage accuses McQuaid and Verbruggen of “slander/¬defamation, denigration and strong suspicions of fraud.”
Next week's two-day summit will be addressed, via conference call, by Travis Tygart, chief executive of USADA.