Cycling Australia (CA) could know by Christmas where it stands officially in the wake of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.
Federal sports minister Kate Lundy wants a speedy review of the national governing body.
That is in contrast to a separate review of Orica-GreenEDGE, which the new Australian cycling team announced last week.
Noted anti-doping specialist Nicki Vance will compile the Orica-GreenEDGE report and initial indications are that her review will go well into the new year.
Lundy announced on Wednesday that former NSW Supreme Court Chief Judge James Wood would head the CA review.
“I would like to see a tight timeframe, four to six weeks for this review,” the senator said.
“I’d be very keen to see the recommendations before Christmas.”
The Wood and Vance reviews were commissioned as a direct result of the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) case against Armstrong, a far-reaching investigation that has rocked world cycling to its core.
While Armstrong has never confessed to doping, he is officially in disgrace.
He is banned from the sport for life and has lost his record seven Tour de France titles.
But the USADA case has far deeper ramifications for cycling than just Armstrong’s downfall.
Prominent Australian cycling officials Matt White and Stephen Hodge have already lost their posts in the aftermath of the Armstrong affair.
White was sacked from Orica-GreenEDGE and lost his pivotal part-time job at CA, while Hodge resigned as CA vice-president after they admitted to doping during their racing careers.
Lundy admitted there could be more pain to come as a result of the Wood inquiry, but said the more important question was how the sport should handle such confessions.
She said the review was critical to restore public confidence in CA.
Asked if she expected Wood to uncover more cases of past doping in Australian cycling, the minister replied: “It may do”.
“But what the terms of reference ask is that a process be developed to deal with people who come forward with those revelations, that are consistent, based on good principles.
“So we’re seeking that advice through the course of this review. We’re asking Judge Wood to reflect on these matters and come back with recommendations.”
Vance will have a similar brief – one of her main responsibilities will be to interview every Orica-GreenEDGE rider and official about their pasts in the sport.
CA president Klaus Mueller welcomed the appointment of Wood to head the inquiry.
“The appointment of such an eminent, experienced and independent person as Mr Wood and the scope of the terms of reference, gives me great confidence that this review will go a long way towards restoring confidence in the integrity of Australian cycling, as well as providing a platform for future best-practice operations for all Australian sport”, Mueller said.
“We look forward to fully cooperating with Mr Wood in this review process.
“We also note Senator Lundy’s comments wanting to move quickly with the review and, again, we would be very happy to get this process underway as soon as possible.”
World governing body the UCI has also announced it will have an independent inquiry as a result of the Armstrong case.