UCI – where’s the money?

There’s plenty of debate on the internet regarding the donation of money apparently made by Lance Armstrong to the UCI. Every time I read or hear an account of this it seems the sum involved changes and the timing is unknown too.

All this would be avoidable if the UCI published its accounts. It already publishes an annual report yet this is just glossy photos and a verbal account of activities taken in the year written by staff. It’s noticeable self-congratulatory. But as any accountant or analyst knows, if glossy text is a front, it’s the audited numbers that can paint a real picture. However you cannot find the UCI’s finances online.

Best practice
This seems odd. This morning I thought of other sports and picked three organisations that came to mind. Soccer’s FIFA publishes financial data, the same of the International Olympic Committee but swimming’s FINA does not. I can’t see any reason not to publish accounts, organisations like this should gain from the openness and transparency.

As someone interested in cycling, I’d like to know the UCI’s financial position. And as a UCI licence holder I’m a stakeholder too.

Follow the money
Finally, one thought: whilst a donation may have been made, it can be paid in many ways. Was it a personal payment from Armstrong, did the structure behind his team, Tailwind Sports, pay or was it made by another business or entity. The same applies for the receipt of the money, did it go to an individual or was it paid to the UCI’s bank account. I wish I didn’t have to think aloud like this, transparency would prevent this.