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McQuaid and Verbruggen accused of corruption in report summary

By:
Cycling News
Published:
September 10, 2013, 10:24 BST,
Updated:
September 10, 2013, 11:35 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, September 10, 2013
UCI President Pat McQuaid tried to defend the UCI's record on doping

UCI President Pat McQuaid tried to defend the UCI's record on doping

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Leaked document reveals info on Contador, Armstrong cases

UCI president Pat McQuaid and former president Hein Verbruggen have been accused of corruption, attempts to conceal Alberto Contador's positive doping test at the 2010 Tour de France and multiple collusion with Lance Armstrong in a leaked summary of a detailed report compiled by private investigators.

The three-page summary document was published by Velonews.com. The original report is alleged to be 54 pages long and includes 26 document exhibits. It was apparently investigated and written by two senior law enforcement and intelligence officials who have been assisted by an internationally known private investigative firm.

Knowledge of the report first arose in June at a heated and tense UCI Management Committee meeting in Bergan, Norway as McQuaid's hopes of being re-elected as UCI President first began to wilt. Mike Plant, the United States representative on the UCI Management committee, told Cyclingnews that the complete document was compiled by Russia's Igor Makarov. He also sits on the UCI Management committee and is the head of the Russian Global Cycling Project that runs the Katusha WorldTour team.

The unidentified source of the summary said the whole Report has not been made available because it has been "turned over to law enforcement authorities for follow up." It is not clear which authorities are involved.

UCI President Pat McQuaid has described details the leaked summary of the Report as "complete fabrication. They are totally untrue and are not supported by a scintilla of evidence."

"This is a scurrilous and libelous attack on my character, with a political agenda that is both nakedly transparent and totally contemptible - and unfortunately one that is completely in character with the tactics of my opponents."

The accusations

The summary document alleges that there is testimonial and documentary evidence of a number of events and requests by McQuaid and former UCI President Hein Verbruggen. These include:

1. "That in the late summer of 2012, Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen solicited what amounted to a bribe of 250,000 euros from a named pro-cycling team owner."

"The funds were supposed to be paid to a specifically named front company located in the UAE, involving a named secret bank account with ties to a named finance company in Switzerland."

2. "That when employees of another named professional cycling team tried to involve UCI in a disagreement with team owners over the failure of team owners to pay employees, UCI instead became involved in a corrupt relationship with the team owners and allowed the illegal non-payment of salaries to continue, The witness who provided this testimonial evidence claimed to have documentary evidence of this corrupt relationship including documents from a named international accounting firm that were altered."

3. "There is testimonial evidence that after the rider Alberto Contador failed a doping test in 2010, UCI tried to engage in a cover-up of the failed test in exchange for money, The witness who provided this testimony advised the efforts were not successful because the media became aware of the story before the cover-up could be completed. The witness claims there are other witnesses who can provide corroborative testimony."

4. "There is testimonial evidence that in 2009 when Lance Armstrong was making a comeback to cycling, he had not been in the UCI doping testing pool for the previously proscribed period of time. Mr. McQuaid agreed to a bending of these rules, which allowed Mr. Armstrong to ride in the Tour Down Under for an appearance fee of $1 million and in exchange, Mr. Armstrong agreed to ride in the Tour of Ireland for free - a race he otherwise would not have participated in."

"Further, that Mr. McQuaid benefited from this agreement because his relatives or friends were involved in directing the Tour of Ireland. The witness claims a personal, first-hand account of these facts."

6. "There is testimonial evidence from more than one witness concerning the well-known 1999 Tour de France urine samples that allegedly eventually contained evidence that Mr. Armstrong failed doping tests, and that Mr. Verbruggen arranged for a friend of his, Emile Vrijman to conduct the independent review and report about the incident."

"Further, that Mr. Armstrong's personal attorneys wrote and edited portions of the report so they were most favorable to Mr. Armstrong. It is further alleged that Mr. Armstrong helped pay for the report. One witness stated that there is email evidence between Mr. Armstrong's attorneys and UCI officials, which prove these facts. There is testimonial and documentary evidence that the night before Mr. Armstrong appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Mr. Verbruggen was very concerned these events were going to be disclosed during the interview of Mr. Armstrong."

Lies and denials

The report summary also alleges that McQuaid interviews about the allegations for two hours on May 18, denying all the allegations. However the summary claims there is evidence that "he lied about his knowledge and role in the allegations."

The summary also alleges that McQuaid was given the opportunity to "read the entire report and ask questions or make comments concerning the contents of The Report. The investigators claim that he spent approximately one hour reading the report, making notes. and that he asked no questions, and made no comments."

The summary claims that "There is testimonial evidence from more than one witness that after Mr. McQuaid read the Report in Corsica, France, he communicated with Mr. Verbruggen about the contents of the Report. Further, that Mr. Verbruggen then contacted several of the witnesses in The Report in an apparent effort to distance himself from Mr. McQuaid."

The summary document concludes by alleging that "It thus appears the recent statements in the press last week by Mr. McQuaid that he has never seen The Report are false."

"It appears the statements to multiple witnesses by Mr. McQuaid that he intended to bring the allegations he was aware of in The Report to the UCI Ethics Commission are false. It appears the statements by both Mr. McQuaid and Mr. Verbruggen in the press last week that they have not recently communicated, and that Mr. Verbruggen no longer has anything to do with Mr. McQuaid or UCI, are also false."

McQuaid claimed in his response to the summary document that Makarov and Plant both refused to hand over the full report.

"The Ethics Commission asked for a copy of the dossier from Igor Makarov and Mike Plant, but both of them refused to hand it over to the Ethics Commission. That fact alone speaks volumes," McQuaid said.

 

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