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Laurent Jalabert led a rider protest in the wake of the 1998 Festina affair
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." (sporza.be)
Rudolf Scharping, president of the German cycling federation agreed with the UCI's decision. “The UCI's decision after all that evidence is only logical. The important thing is that a 'contaminated decade' be reviewed and finally put to rest.”
Herman Ram, general director, Netherlands Anti-Doping Agency expected the outcome. “As I said earlier, I did not expect that the UCI would appeal against the findings of the USADA report. ...
“McQuaid was quite reticent about the role of the UCI, that was no surprise. But it easy to make him the scapegoat. The fact is that the UCI in the period up to 2004 did not have the resources and opportunities to be more effectively.”