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Ex-prosecutor to lead UCI doping probe

Dick Marty can be expected to pull no punches during his investigation Keystone

Former Swiss senator and prosecutor Dick Marty, an experienced corruption and human rights investigator, has been appointed by cycling’s governing body UCI to lead a three-man independent panel to examine the sport's doping past.

The panel will be based in Lausanne, Switzerland, and known as the Cycling Independent Reform Commission.

UCI President Brian Cookson said its aim will be to “investigate the problems cycling has faced in recent years, especially the allegations that the UCI has been involved in wrongdoing in the past – allegations which have done so much to hurt the credibility of the UCI and our sport”.

Cookson was elected president of the UCI in September. His predecessor, Hein Verbruggen, has been accused of colluding with American cyclist Lance Armstrong and helping to cover up his doping. Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after admitting to doping.

The American wrote on Twitter on January 8 that his position remained “unchanged” and he vowed to be “open” and “honest” with the inquiry. He added that neither he nor his team had been contacted by the UCI or panel yet.

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Marty is a high-profile Swiss politician and former state prosecutor of canton Ticino who has extensive experience fighting organised crime and investigating human rights abuses.

From 1999-2011 he was a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. In the course of this work, he conducted various inquiries that have earned him international recognition such as allegations of secret CIA prisons in Europe and alleged organ trafficking in Kosovo.

The Swiss will be assisted by two vice-chairmen, Ulrich Haas, a German legal expert specialising in anti-doping law and procedure and an arbitrator at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and the Australian Peter Nicholson, who has experience of leading investigations spanning national and international jurisdictions.

The anti-doping panel has already begun preparatory work and will soon be given complete access to the files of the UCI and all relevant electronic data.

Born in 1945 in the southern canton of Ticino, where he served as deputy public prosecutor, then public prosecutor from 1975-1989. A member of the Ticino cantonal government from 1989 to 1995.

Elected to the Swiss Senate in 1995, he is a member of the centre-right Radical Party. He stepped down in 2011. Among his initiatives: installing an independent federal prosecutor, and the decriminalisation of abortion.

He was elected to the Council of Europe parliamentary assembly in 1999 and chaired the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights from 2005 to 2008. He retired in 2011.

On behalf of the committee, he investigated the CIA’s secret prisons in Europe, publishing a report in 2006 that said 14 countries had colluded with the US in a “spider’s web” of human rights abuses. Marty said other countries, including Switzerland, had been involved actively or passively in the detention or transfer of unknown persons.

In 2010 he published a report on suspected organ trafficking in Kosovo, which implicated high ranking members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR