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Third Edition Cycling News, Monday, October 22, 2012

Date published:
October 22, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Oakley severs relationship with Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong at the 2009 Tour de France
    Article published:
    October 22, 2012, 15:17 BST
    Cycling News

    UCI's decision influences long-time sponsor of Armstrong

    Oakley cut ties with its long time sponsored athlete Lance Armstrong on Monday after the UCI announced that it was upholding the rulings of the US Anti-Doping Association (USADA) and confirming Armstrong's lifetime ban.

    In a statement on its website, Oakley said, "Based on UCI's decision today and the overwhelming evidence that USADA presented, Oakley has severed its longstanding relationship with Lance Armstrong, effective immediately.

    "When Lance joined our family many years ago, he was a symbol of possibility. We are deeply saddened by the outcome, but look forward with hope to athletes and teams of the future who will rekindle that inspiration by racing clean, fair and honest.

    "We believe the Livestrong Foundation has been a positive force in the lives of many affected by cancer and, at this time, Oakley will continue to support its noble goals."

    Oakley's actions mirror those of Nike, Trek and Anheuser-Busch, all previous long-time sponsors of Armstrong.

  • Prudhomme: "This era must be remembered as an era without winners"

    Article published:
    October 22, 2012, 15:55 BST
    Cycling News

    Tour de France organisers want Armstrong to repay $3 million prize money

    Christian Prudhomme, the director of the Tour de France, has confirmed that he does not want Lance Armstrong's seven Tour de France victories reassigned after the UCI ratified the USADA verdict to ban the Texan and disqualify him from results going back to August 1998.

    Prudhomme also said that he expects Armstrong to pay back his estimated three million dollars he won in the race.

    "There won’t be a winner. The formal decision will be taken by the UCI on Friday but for us, it's very clear; we want to leave the palmares blank," Prudhomme told the Reuters news agency after hearing Pat McQuaid speaking during his Geneva press conference.

    "The USADA report accuses a system and an era. This era must be remembered as an era without winners."

    According to l’Equipe, Armstrong won approximately 2.95 million Euro via his seven Tour de France victories and sixteen stage victories. Prudhomme insisted that this money will have to be paid back, even if it has been shared amongst teammates.

    "The UCI rules are clear," Prudhomme said. "When a rider loses the result where a prize is award, they have to give it back."

    "The Tour de France will recover from this," said Christian Prudhomme, recalling that the organisers did not choose the participants, nominated by their teams.

    Prudhomme will unveil the route of the 2013 Tour de France in Paris on Wednesday. The Armstrong case is damaging for the sport’s biggest race but the Frenchman remained belligerent.

    "The Tour de France will recover from this," Prudhomme insisted.

  • Statement details UCI position on Armstrong ban

    Pat McQuaid answers questions
    Article published:
    October 22, 2012, 17:22 BST
    Cycling News

    Document puts pressure on WADA to appeal to CAS

    The UCI issued a detailed statement after the press conference in Geneva, formalizing their position and explaining exactly why they have decided to recognise and implement Lance Armstrong's ban.

    The UCI accepted USADA's jurisdiction for the investigation, but questioned the legality of banning Armstrong after more than eight years and as far back as 1998, suggesting this does not follow the rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency's Code. However, the UCI did not feel it has sufficient grounds to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport itself, saying it was up to WADA to ensure compliance of the World Anti-Doping Code.

    The UCI statement also pointed out that it is up to Armstrong to defend himself against the USADA allegations and sanctions but noted that he chose not to go to arbitration where his lawyers could have cross examined the allegations made against him.

    The statement reads: "After consideration of the reasoned decision by USADA and its appendices, the UCI has decided not to appeal to CAS."

    "The UCI has considered the following main issues: jurisdiction, the statute of limitations, the evidence gathered by USADA and the sanctions imposed upon Mr Armstrong."

    "UCI will recognize and implement the decision of USADA, which implies that all competitive results achieved by Mr Armstrong in cycling since August 1, 1998 will be disqualified, including his seven Tour de France wins."

    Pressure on WADA

    The UCI was expected to appeal to CAS regarding some aspects of the USADA investigation. However the UCI opted not to do so and instead puts pressure on WADA to make any costly appeal to the Court of...

  • McQuaid would accept rider donations in the future

    UCI President Pat McQuaid tried to defend the UCI's record on doping
    Article published:
    October 22, 2012, 18:26 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Questions linger over UCI's relationship with Armstrong

    UCI president Pat McQuaid’s press conference to accept USADA’s decision to strip Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles may have begun with a strongly-worded indictment of the Texan’s legacy, but it ended with questions still lingering over the UCI’s relationship with the rider during his career.

    “Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling,” McQuaid said confidently, later adding that “he deserves to be forgotten in cycling now.”

    But while Armstrong is forever expunged from the record books, his legacy is one that will not be readily forgotten. It continues to cast a long shadow over the sport in general and over UCI headquarters in Aigle in particular, given the governing body’s contentious decision to accept donations totalling $125,000 from Armstrong in 2002 and 2005.

    In Geneva on Monday, McQuaid repeated his defence of the UCI’s acceptance of Armstrong’s twin offerings to its anti-doping fund – a 2002 donation of $25,000 that was used to fund testing in the junior ranks, and a 2005 pledge of $100,000 (eventually paid in January 2007) which went towards the purchase of a Sysmex blood analyser.

    McQuaid, who was elected UCI president in 2005, again denied the allegations of Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton that Armstrong had donated the money in order to cover up a positive test for EPO at the 2001 Tour de Suisse. He described the accusations as being “absolutely untrue” and said that accepting the money was not a reason for him or then UCI president Hein Verbruggen to tender their resignations.

    “It’s certainly not a resignation issue,” McQuaid said. “It would be best if we hadn’t done...

  • Reactions to UCI's confirmation of Lance Armstrong's ban

    Laurent Jalabert led a rider protest in the wake of the 1998 Festina affair
    Article published:
    October 22, 2012, 19:15 BST
    Cycling News

    Mixed opinions on Armstrong ban

    Following the UCI's decision to uphold the US Anti-Doping Agency's lifetime ban of Lance Armstrong and the disqualification of all of his results since 1998, the cycling world is showing mixed reactions.

    On one hand, Laurent Jalabert told L'Equipe that it was “difficult for the UCI to react differently. ... Anyway, he's a great champion, he was a huge talent", while on the other Eric Boyer called Armstrong "manipulative, narcissistic and wicked".

    Christophe Moreau reflected on the scandal of his time, the Festina affair, that embroiled his own team in the 1998 Tour de France. "After 98, it was thought that cycling was running smoothly. But it is even worse. Festina was painful for everyone and fourteen years later, nothing. It did not help anything. For me, it's shit."

    For some, the blame for the lost era of cycling rests firmly with the UCI.

    Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis) said via Twitter, "If the UCI wants to make a real decision, it must withdraw from the fight against doping and request that an independent regulatory system is put in place. All other international sports federations should do the same."

    Tom Van Damme, Chairman of the Belgian cycling federation was also critical of the sport's governing body: “If you read the USADA dossier, then the UCI could not do otherwise.  The UCI communicated poorly and defended itself poorly the last few days, I think, and must now regain confidence. Additional measures in the fight against doping are also needed. Certain doctors in the peloton should be excluded. This allows cycling a new start." (

    Rudolf Scharping, president of the German cycling federation agreed with...

  • Police involvement crucial in anti-doping, says McQuaid

    A French gendarme searches outside the window
    Article published:
    October 22, 2012, 19:50 BST
    Barry Ryan

    USADA dossier supported by federal investigation

    At one point during Pat McQuaid's discussion of the UCI decision to uphold the sanctions imposed on Lance Armstrong by USADA, the Irishman listed off the major doping cases that had taken place during his seven-year presidency of cycling's governing body.

    McQuaid's litany stretched from Roberto Heras' positive test at the 2005 Vuelta a España to USADA's 2012 findings against Armstrong by way of Operacion Puerto (2006), Floyd Landis (2006), Michael Rasmussen (2007), Alexandre Vinokourov (2007), the CERA positives of 2008, Alberto Contador (2010), Ezequiel Mosquera (2010) and Steve Houanard (2012).

    Yet even in the face of such a depressingly repetitive roll call, McQuaid was keen to stress that the UCI had made progress in the fight against doping on his watch, citing the existing biological passport and the forthcoming steroid and urine profile. McQuaid admitted, however, that the greatest strides in the fight against doping over the past decade have come about thanks to the involvement of the police and criminal justice systems.

    In particular, McQuaid noted that USADA's damning report of Lance Armstrong's doping would not have been possible without the work carried out by FDA investigators as part of their inquiry into possible federal fraud at the US Postal Service team.

    "When you look at this case, you see quite clearly that without the involvement of the police, it wouldn't have happened," McQuaid said. "You can see the number of tests done on these eleven or twelve [US Postal] athletes by the UCI and USADA, they were all negative. It wasn't until the intervention of the federal agents in the United States, when they called these riders in, sat them down and put a gun and a badge on the table and they told them...

  • SCA to seek $7.5m from Lance Armstrong

    Don't call it a comeback: Lance Armstrong 2.0 came back in 2009
    Article published:
    October 22, 2012, 20:39 BST
    Cycling News

    Company that insured bonuses looks to recoup cash

    Lance Armstrong stands to lose another $7.5 million after being officially stripped of all of his competitive results dating back to August 1, 1998, on top of having to pay back some $3.9 million in prize money from the Tour de France. The BBC Sport reported today that SCA Promotions, which in 2006 settled out of court in a case to pay out bonuses to Armstrong for winning the 2004 Tour de France, is seeking to recoup those funds.

    "We will make a formal demand for return of funds," said SCA Promotions attorney Jeffrey M. Tillotson. "If this is not successful, we will initiate formal legal proceedings against Mr Armstrong in five business days."

    The company was one of several which insured Tailwind Sports, the owner of Armstrong's US Postal and Discovery Channel teams from having to pay out the $5 million bonus promised to him if he were to win the Tour de France for the sixth time in 2004.

    When allegations of doping by Armstrong became public after the release of L.A. Confidentiel, the expose written by David Walsh and Pierre Ballester, SCA Promotions refused to pay the bonus.

    Armstrong took the case to arbitration, where despite testimony from individuals such as Betsy and Frankie Andreu, supporting the assertions in the book that Armstrong doped, the two parties settled out of court, with SCA Promotions having to pay the bonus plus $2.5m in legal fees and interest because the wording of the contract held them to payment as long as Armstrong was the winner of the Tours.

    Now that this is no longer the case, the company is seeking to reverse the outcome.

    "This is not a happy day for my client, but he feels Lance Armstrong has brought this upon himself," said Tillotson.

  • Millar "empowered" by UCI decision on Armstrong ban

    David Millar (Garmin-Sharp)
    Article published:
    October 22, 2012, 21:30 BST
    Cycling News

    "Buck stops" with Verbruggen

    Following the announcement by the UCI that it would uphold the lifetime ban of Lance Armstrong issued by the US Anti-Doping Agency, outspoken anti-doping advocate David Millar has said he is pleased that the sport's governing body made the decision.

    Speaking with Sky Sports, Millar said the decision was late, but not too late. "There was a time that all of us in the peloton thought this would always be the massive elephant in the room that would never get sorted.

    "As painful as it is for everybody, especially the public - I think it really is incredibly shocking for them - for many of us in the sport, who've been involved in the last 10 years, we've been aware of what's been happening and we've been powerless on each of our levels.

    "To have this happen has empowered all of us."

    Millar criticized the UCI for continually denying that there was a problem with doping, while at the same time behaving as if they were well aware of the sport's issues. He called for the departure of Hein Verbruggen, who as late as last week insisted there was no evidence of Armstrong's doping, from his role as honorary president of the UCI.

    "I think it's an absolute disgrace that he's even involved in this sport in any way," Millar said of Verbruggen. "I think the fact that he's made a statement like that even last week is still making the implication that there is no proof that Lance doped. It's wrong, pure and simple."

    While Millar himself was caught with EPO and served a suspension, his experience during the dark era of cycling led him down a path quite distinct from that of Armstrong, who was accused by USADA not only of doping but conspiring to cover up his and his team's illicit activities over the years.