TechPowered By

More tech

Change Cycling Now calls for LeMond to replace McQuaid

Daniel Benson
December 3, 2012, 19:55,
December 3, 2012, 20:03
First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, December 4, 2012
The Change Cycling Now organisation called a press conference in London on Monday.

The Change Cycling Now organisation called a press conference in London on Monday.

view thumbnail gallery

Can CCN really change cycling?

The Change Cycling Now (CCN) movement, at a press conference in London on Monday, has called for Pat McQuaid to resign from his post as the president of the UCI. The CCN organisation has also advocated that former cyclist Greg LeMond - an existing member of the CCN panel - should stand as an interim president while the UCI conducts its investigation into allegations of corruption and bribery during the Lance Armstrong era.

The CCN came into existence in the aftermath of the USADA investigation into Lance Armstrong and the US Postal team. Jaimie Fuller, the CEO of a global sportswear brand, created the organisation, and has assembled an impressive list of names with LeMond, Michael Ashenden, Paul Kimmage, Jonathan Vaughters, Christophe Bassons and David Walsh all joining forces to lobby the UCI for reform within the sport. Fuller is financing the enterprise himself and does not believe his ties to his sportswear brand and his declaration for change are a conflict of interest. However, he would not confirm the amount of capital he is willing to invest in CCN but was clear that the root of his aims are based around cleaning up the sport and not publicity.

"The UCI's Independent Commission will sit in April and report in June," Fuller said. "During that time the president and the honorary president who are both under investigation in that process will be allowed to remain in office. In order for the commission's task to remain credible they must stand down and they must stand down immediately. There must be no possibility of conflict of interest from the commission and interim leadership is necessary.

"Today we're launching the charter of the willing and I'd like to ask the national federations and the IOC and challenge them on why they would not endorse this charter. This charter is clearly for the good of the sport."

Fuller's charter comprises of four main principles. The first surrounds the much vaunted concept of truth and reconciliation, a premise that has already divided two teams that publicly position themselves with anti-doping stances in Sky and Garmin-Sharp. However, CCN is calling for riders and staff to come forward and admit to any links and guilt of doping in a set of hearings in order to allow recognition of the past and Fuller adds that the UCI President, presumably LeMond at this point, should instruct teams and riders to come forward. The second principle is for another independent commission to investigate the UCI and its senior management. Thirdly, CCN requests that anti-doping measures and testing should be controlled away from the UCI and authority granted to an independent body to decide on testing. Finally, CCN calls for a cultural change in the UCI

"We want cycling to become the first sport in the world where the athletes work side by side with the authorities against doping," said Michael Ashenden, formerly of the UCI's Biological Passport panel.

"Independence in testing is a prerequisite for our confidence. A single organisation that operates beyond the UCI's control, that organisation must have the authority on who to test, when to test them and what drugs to test them for.

"Independent testing on its own is not sufficient. We want to put into place a system for next year's Tours that guarantees that the winners have not blood doped. It will restore public confidence in the riders and the race's outcome. It's for the riders, but very much by the riders."

"I believe that riders want to do the right thing and I think if they're given the opportunity they will do the right thing."

Fuller's petition for change at the UCI currently stands at 646 online signatures but along with the funds raised by the Kimmage Defence Fund, there is a public appetite for the UCI to reform. However, the exact structure and power of the CCN appears limited at this stage. The UCI, McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen have all clashed with members of the CCN panel in the past and there's little sign of them deciding to fall on their swords based on the arguments put forward in London. So far there has been little to no dialogue between the UCI and CCN, a fact Fuller believes is due to the UCI monitoring staff emails.

What the CCN also lack is the backing of the professional peloton. Ashenden stated that he'd met with Gianni Bugno, the head of the CPA, and Fuller added that he himself had spoken to at least 10 riders who were scared of UCI recrimination if they were seen to be on the CCN panel.

With no concrete steps in place and Ashenden unwilling to go into the details of his plan on how rider cooperation could work, CCN's best chance of success could lie in acting as a pressure group. Paul Kimmage, who is counter-suing the UCI currently, added: "It's the fact that we're here to ratchet up the pressure. We're not going to forget about it. This needs to be dealt with and we need to keep reminding people day after day that it's not the riders who are responsible for the mess that the sport is in today but it's the people who have been in charge for the last 20 years.

"Hein Verbruggen has been at the helm of the sport since 1990. Since 2005 his puppet has been at the helm of the sport and nothing is going to happen until we remove McQuaid and Verbruggen and that's number one on our list of things that need to be done. We're going to do whatever we can to keep that on the agenda until that's resolved."

BigBoat More than 1 year ago
I like Lemond he is clever, he has a lot of good ideas but its hard to believe he'd ever come close to realizing any of them for real.
redbox More than 1 year ago
Yes,, that's my vote do it
Carlos Rodrigues More than 1 year ago
"Change Cycling Now" ... all for the good of the sport, no doubt! No pollitics, whatsoever involved...
Tideplay1 More than 1 year ago
Yes no egos finally, not self interest either. For the love of sport. The charter is very well balanced between accountability and forgiveness in the name of transparency learning and reform. I support it whole heartedly. Bravo gentlemen and scholars.
elagus More than 1 year ago
They have collected only 646 online signatures so far? where do I sign? If we love this sport as fans, we need to give these guys our support as well!
Carols More than 1 year ago
Won't let me post the link...what is with that? Anyway google Change Cycling Now and you'll find the link to sign the petition....currently at 1137 signatures.
jwinniejr More than 1 year ago
LeMond is one of Armstrong's most strident accusers and CCN wants to make him president of the UCI? Seriously? The UCI is set to review the Armstrong case, and will be deciding on what sanctions, if any, are appropriate. Does anyone honestly believe that the UCI's Independent Commission will be truly independent and impartial with LeMond at the organization's helm? I would suggest that if people can't even imagine that Armstrong might be exhonerated, that there is something wrong with the process - and from his comments, LeMond can't imagine the possibility of Armstrong's innocence, so he's essentially guilty and cannot, in LeMond's eyes, be shown to be innocent. Does anyone else see a conflict of interest here? Anyone...?
Carols More than 1 year ago
You're Late--the UCI Banned Lance a while ago!
jwinniejr More than 1 year ago
Got that part, but we haven't gotten close to the end of this. Bruyneel and UCI officials have yet to be judged and both USADA and the UCI continue to refer to this as the "Armstrong affair". It's not over, and Armstrong's name is invoked at every step. LeMond has no place at the helm of the UCI until all the laundry has been aired...
Josh Wilson More than 1 year ago
Wow, just...... wow..... Even if you don't like Lemond (who is an incredibly good honest guy incedentally and possibly the last clean tour winner) it's hilariously stupid that you'd consider him becoming president as creating a conflict of interest when the guys he'd replace are some of the filthiest lying corporate scumbags imaginable, and care about nothing but protecting their own positions and reputations (yes I'm talking about McQuaid and Vebruggen). It's equally stupid that you haven't accepted the fact that Lance is guilty considering the massive mountain of evidence against him. I'm sure his ex teammates are all just making it up right? And the countless other ppl who have spoken up over the years... Ignorant fools like you are the reason the sport has been allowed to continue like this for so long, shut your mouth and hang your head in shame. More than 1 year ago
I call BS on this! Lemond clean, I am not buying it.
Josh Wilson More than 1 year ago
I did say possibly... Personally I'd like to give guys like himself Wiggins, Evans etc the benefit of the doubt for now because I haven't seen any evidence or testimonies to say otherwise about these guys. Feel free to bring anything to light if you know more. There is a lot of hate directed at Lemond simply due to the fact that he would not stay quite and continually spoke his mind about Lance and cycling at the time, resulting in a smear campaign that many ppl fell for. The recent revelations should have vindicated him to all, but it seems some people have been hating on him so hard and for so long that it becomes very difficult for them to change their opinion of him.
jwinniejr More than 1 year ago
Nice try Josh. I'm not weighing in one way or the other on Armstrong's innocence or guilt - my personal beliefs are irrelevant as are yours. I am weighing in on the process. Putting LeMond, a strident Armstrong accuser, in charge of the agency that is sanctioning him, and the same agency that will likely be hearing evidence against Bruyneel, is not how we practice justice (at least not in the U.S.). In addition, I agree that the McQuaid needs to go, for the same reasons Lemond shouldn't head the UCI - both are personally involved in the case(s). Also, you might want to read a bit more carefully next time: I never said anything about the veracity of Armstrong's teammates, and suggested that LeMond shouldn't be put in charge of the UCI until after these cases are settled (not never). Ever hear of a straw man? You're quite good at building them...
Josh Wilson More than 1 year ago
Maybe you should do a bit more reading before prattling off with this BS. You're personal beliefs are as obvious as mine, but unfortunately you don't seem to be able to grasp the fact the it is over. Lance has been judged and sanctioned by the UCI already, they took his tours and DQ'd his results since 99. Have you been hiding under a rock? Lemond couldn't continue to pursue Lance now even if he wanted to, simply because there is nothing left to take from him. As Bigboat states below this commission is not about Lance, it is about investigating the actions of the UCI. Your hero is a sham, move on.
jwinniejr More than 1 year ago
Nice try again Josh. Armstrong has nothing to do with Bruyneel or McQuaid? What rock have you been living under? UCI and USADA will be, or are, investigating both. Bruyneel for facilitationg doping at USPS and McQuaid for possibly covering up doping by Armstrong and others.Putting a witness against Armstrong (LeMond) in charge of the agency sanctioning Arnstrong, an agency about to review more evidence that involves Armstrong, is not the way to build credibility in cycling. And again, you can't seem to help but build another straw man: I'm not weighing in on Armstrong's innocence or guilt (I think he is guilty, but recognize that I've only seen the prosecution's case). You and I have heard only one side of the evidence, and yes it looks like Armstrong doped. But the cases prosecutors put forth always look that way, even in instances where people are eventually exhonerated. And yes, LeMond can continue to pursue Armstrong by calling on him to testify in actions involving McQuaid an possibly Bruyneel. By doing so, he can put Armstrong in a position where he is forced to contradict earlier testimony and expose himself to perjury charges in U.S. courts. But hey, you're aware of this because you are a thoughtful, careful, objective follower of all this who is not biased by his obvious dislike of Armstrong, and love of LeMond. A word of advice: if you ever find yourself in a court of law, try to find a judge who's not like you.
BigBoat More than 1 year ago
Jwiner, yes Carols is correct the UCI's pannel is not about deciding Armstrong's fate, but rather the UCI's involvement in the affair years ago as it was happening.
cyberl1 More than 1 year ago
Forget about Lance. LeMond will not be impartial with anyone he thinks he can accuse of helping Lance. For LeMond it will always be about Lance. LeMond is the not the person for the job he will always see conspiracy around every corner.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why would LeMond care much about Lance now? Lance's public problems gave LeMond a new level of crediblity, and redeemed his continued involvement in so many people's minds that there is hardly a reason for LeMond to seek revenge or whatever you might call it. LeMond would surely welcome Lance's involvement at which time he came clean and, I suppose, apologized. LeMond isn't the publicity-seeking egotist that some might assume based only on the fact that the only way he was able to challenge Lance's story was at publicity events since Lance likely ignored his private communication attempts at cleaning up the sport.
max_powers More than 1 year ago
"Fuller is financing the enterprise himself and does not believe his ties to his sportswear brand and his declaration for change are a conflict of interest." Fullers compression sportswear is currently banned by the UCI, so there is a conflict imo.
Archwoodtheology Tarrant More than 1 year ago
Yeah, but is LeMond clean? My feeling from his comments is that he never did EPO, but he likely used other PED's. I am ok with a reformed doper at the helm, but he has to be reformed. I fear LeMond has something to hide. I fear Lemond thinks some kinds of doping were ok at least when he road. Did he truly beat known dopers while not doping? Yes, he seems to have passed on EPO, but I can't be certain he passed on other illegal PED's. That definitely makes me nervous. I'd feel much more comfortable with a David Millar type, although maybe someone with more experience. Heck, give me Kimmage, that would stick it to the UCI!
Archwoodtheology Tarrant More than 1 year ago
Sorry for the typo on "rode"
Carlos Rodrigues More than 1 year ago
"Cyclists are treated like lab mice, and I'm retiring because I am tired of being treated like one! - Greg Lemond upon his retirement in 1994, loud and clear, as usual, for everyone to listen.... He doped just like everyone else back in the day!!! Why is he allowed to have any sort of link with cycling when people are being forced to step down based on suspicion alone, and I am not even talking about Lance???
Mini Butch More than 1 year ago
Now or never, you must be kidding. This seems like an April fool’s joke. The fastest way to destroy cycling would be to allow Greg to run it. All one needs to do it look at anyone of his many failed businesses. And Greg makes Clinton, McCain and Edwards look like saints. Maybe he has some things to contribute that would actually be good for cycling but look at LeMond Fitness. He ran it into the ground. Then he threatened to sue his own company. After that he hid the books from investors. It would be hilarious to see him try and run the UCI but unfortunately it would be one of the saddest things to ever happen to cycling.
chadwick christenson More than 1 year ago
Exchange one criminal for another. Lemond will take me from a maybe i will continue to watch cycling to an absolute NO
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'll tell you this though, that Greg went on the attack about Lance's evasiveness when it was un-popular to do so. This speaks volumes about his character. And now we can see that Greg was pretty much in the right, as well. But Chadwick, you are up front about your bias, and I respect you for that.
LaBici More than 1 year ago
I vote for LeMond. Those who are casting aspirations are without a shred of evidence