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UCI hit back at accusations of complicity in Armstrong's doping

Cycling News
April 26, 2013, 08:38,
April 26, 2013, 09:46
First Edition Cycling News, Friday, April 26, 2013
UCI President Pat McQuaid at the UCI headquarters in Aigle

UCI President Pat McQuaid at the UCI headquarters in Aigle

  • UCI President Pat McQuaid at the UCI headquarters in Aigle
  • USADA chief Travis Tygart (R) shakes hands with Senator Arlen Specter at a 2009 hearing in Washington, DC about screening dietary supplements for illegal steroids.
  • UCI president Pat McQuaid announces the governing body will strip Lance Armstrong of his Tour de France titles
  • It's still about the bike: Lance Armstrong back in the saddle

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Governing body attacks USADA CEO Travis Tygart

The UCI has hit back at suggestions from USADA CEO Travis Tygart that Lance Armstrong may have evidence that the sports governing body's was in some way complicit in the Texan's years of doping.

Tygart appeared before a French Senate investigation into doping on Thursday. The Associated Press news agency reported him as saying: "Armstrong led us to believe - during the course of our interaction with him - that he had evidence of their complicity in this situation."

In a press release, the UCI insisted categorically that they have nothing to hide.

“The fact is that Mr Tygart has no evidence of any wrongdoing and has chosen to make headlines on a convenient interpretation of a conversation he had with Lance Armstrong," a unidentified spokesperson was quoted in the press release.

“He should establish the facts before jumping to conclusions. The UCI welcomes any assistance and clarification that Lance Armstrong may wish to give Mr Tygart on the matter”.

Going on the offensive, the UCI also refuted Tygart's comments about why the UCI deciding to disband of the Independent Commission that was established to look into the UCI’s role in the Armstrong affair.

“It’s all very well Mr Tygart talking about cooperation, but let’s not forget that the Independent Commission was only disbanded because of USADA’s and WADA’s point-blank refusal to cooperate with it. Simply, the UCI was left with no choice but to close it down; it made no sense to go forward without the participation of these two bodies,” the spokesperson said.

“One can only assume that their refusal to cooperate with the Independent Commission was due to their fear that their own shortcomings would be exposed. After all, USADA and WADA also tested Armstrong over many years and also failed to catch him. It was only with the benefit of the US Federal Investigation that USADA was finally able to gain evidence of Armstrong’s doping.

“No attempt by Travis Tygart to rewrite history will change the fact that USADA failed to catch Lance Armstrong having tested him just 49 times during his career. The UCI by comparison tested Armstrong 189 times.”

The UCI press release went as far as claiming that the UCI's fight against doping and the catching of Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton via anti-doping tests, facilitated the investigation against Armstrong.

"As Mr Tygart himself admitted Thursday in other media reports, it was the UCI in its campaign against doping, not WADA or USADA, which caught Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton. And it was the UCI catching these two high-profile riders which ended up with them confessing and so enabled the investigation to move against Armstrong,” the UCI claimed.

maxmartin More than 1 year ago
How convenient, Landis and Tyler had a fall out with lance, soon after that got caught by uci.
Terrence Martineau More than 1 year ago
And after Tyler leaves USPS and wins Liège–Bastogne–Liège in 2003 (LA 20th, 45s back)... Tyler gets summoned into UCI head quarters to discuss his blood values... and hears from some little birdies that it's Armstrong ratted him out to his buddy Verbruggen.. 'not normal'...
Chuck_T More than 1 year ago
Armstrong also informed the UCI before the 2003 Tour of his concerns that Spanish riders were using artificial haemoglobin. Classy stuff.
Almon Poole More than 1 year ago
Tyler's book was a good and eye opening read.
Chuck_T More than 1 year ago
Note the lack of fanboy participation in this part of the thread.
Edd O Mara More than 1 year ago
The saga continues. When will it end.
DirtyWorks More than 1 year ago
Here's an idea to bring it to an end. WADA ban for Hein Verbruggen WADA ban for Pat McQuaid WADA ban for Thom Wiesel and Steve Johnson. Hand over all dope case authority to WADA. UCI is only rider advocate in doping cases. Patrice Clerc becomes the new head of the UCI. Lemond, Kimmage and others democratize the UCI. That would help.
rainwatrz More than 1 year ago
Turn UCI over to the riders then?
DirtyWorks More than 1 year ago
No. That's not the same as turning it over to the riders. It's turning it over to people who have consistently supported a transparent, dope-free cycling sport. I don't know if Patrice Clerc was ever a rider, but he was very vocal leader of a clean Tour de France before he was fired for stirring too much doping controversy. He ran the largest bike race in terms of dollars and viewers. He could easily run the UCI and the rest of the money-players in cycling could trust him. Anti-doping advocates could trust him too based on his history.
DirtyWorks More than 1 year ago
I forgot to add, if Mr. Clerc took the job, it would take years to address all the corruption in cycling operating as the head of the UCI. That's an optimistic time schedule too.
fujisst More than 1 year ago
Put Tygart in charge of WADA. Better yet, in charge of the UCI!
LanterneVerte More than 1 year ago
Here we go again. If the UCI has nothing to hide then why did they disband their own investigation? Oh, because USADA and WADA refused to cooperate with it. Why was that? Because it was a toothless exercise in window-dressing. The UCI really do take us all for idiots. What they don't seem to get is how they are obviously just trying to cover their own arses and so they look guilty as hell. As we don't have all the evidence before us, we tend to assume the worst, and the UCI and consequently the entire professional sport looks utterly corrupt. And the bit about 189 tests versus 49 is utterly pathetic, playground name-calling. Are they saying because Armstrong fooled USADA, it is ok that he fooled the UCI too, so therefore USADA are scumbags and the UCI are blameless? The whole thing stinks!
Terrence Martineau More than 1 year ago
.. and it was at the precise moment that the Independent Commission (in consultation with WADA, USADA and CCN) and went to the UCI to change its terms of reference to make it effective that the UCI disbanded the commission.. they were perfectly happy to waste a ton of money on a commission that would find nothing because it was designed to find nothing, but when the saw a commission on the horizon that would truly be independent and effective they quickly disbanded it.. these guys are a joke! and it would be funny if they wasn't ruining our sport with this nonsense...
Vertigo More than 1 year ago
The unedifying spectacle continues
fujisst More than 1 year ago
The choice is yours in that you continue to want to keep your eyes closed.
Clausfarre More than 1 year ago
I trust my gut instinct here: that the UCI is rotten to the core.
Pablo Jones More than 1 year ago
Keep it up Pat, when this house of cards does come down, it's gonna be a joy to behold.
pot belge More than 1 year ago
sounds like uci re writing history to me.
DrBigRing More than 1 year ago
Hopefully the fixation on LA's doping subsides at some point and attention is turned toward the sport's current state of affairs. Or perhaps they'll keep going down the historical road and focus on Indurain's performance.
Terrence Martineau More than 1 year ago
Pat McQuaid and his puppet master Verbruggen are running/ruining the sport of cycling at THIS VERY MOMENT.. they need to go! This is not about Lance Armstrong.. who the hell cares about him.. he's banned for life and out of the sport... this is about exposing the CURRENT corrupt UCI leadership and getting them out of their so the sport can move forward...
Mini Butch More than 1 year ago
Do we leave out USAC in all of this?
Terrence Martineau More than 1 year ago
you are correct... they are complicit it this too... they also sided with UCI to wrestle USADA's case away from it so it could be swept under a rug somewhere... but we could expect nothing else from them as they are a bunch of LA's entourage/gravy train...
DirtyWorks More than 1 year ago
Thom Wiesel, your alleged role in doping athletes as the head of USAC has yet to be revealed. Yeah, Steve Johnson, that includes you too. Hey Thom, what allegedly happened at your house in Park City, Utah when National Road Championships were held there and you housed the team? What that? I didn't hear you.
tralala More than 1 year ago
guys even if tygart is right you don't ask someone to come farward with info through the press and put words in his mouth as to what he will tell. no matter how right you are, officials don't do that. this is the kind of thing that would make any witness think twice. these are 2 very conflictual sides, each barking a lot at the other and uci doesn't need to respond everytime tygart turns some rumour into absolute truth. one is desperate for attention, and the other to keep the status quo.
LanterneVerte More than 1 year ago
USADA already tried more conventional, discreet ways to get LA to talk and he refused, seems like a legitimate ploy to me, police often appeal for information on crimes through the media, what Tygart said could be seen as similar to that.
Matthew Franks More than 1 year ago
Would you co op with USADA when you are the scapegoat for the entire history of doping in sport as far as they are concerned? Do you really believe he will help them without them removing a rediculous lifetime ban? Do you really believe Lance did anything the others hadnt done? LA enforced the unspoken codex in the playing field and was backed by THE WHOLE PELETON when he went up to Simeoni.... ever think about what is not being said? I would offer him a 2 year ban and all his results being put back into place (after all, all others with no positive kept theirs) if he would expose the whole story. After all, its not about the past, but rather about the future.
tralala More than 1 year ago
well said. seems like lance missed the only legal battle he should have fought because although they were right and he was wrong it's very rarely that u see justice accomplished through any means possible. and it's not like any cycling fan actually thought he or any of the top guys back then were clean. that beeing said he should independently say everything he knows, and not to some agency or media. he'll most likely get his 7tours back before he dies anyway since everyone knows neither of those with 5wins did it clean.
Raoul Duke More than 1 year ago
Four have won 5 times (Anquetil, Merckx, Hinault, Indurain) Indurain was the first to win 5 consecutive. I just read a journal article (Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2012 Dec;7(4):397-400.). Article was "The cycling physiology of Miguel Indurain 14 years after retirement." To quote from the Abstract "Age-related fitness declines in athletes can be due to both aging and detraining. Very little is known about the physiological and performance decline of professional cyclists after retirement.....To gain some insight into the aging and detraining process of elite cyclists.... Miguel Indurain performed a progressive cycle-ergometer test to exhaustion 14 y after retirement from professional cycling (age 46 y, body mass 92.2 kg).....aerobic power output 450 W (4.88 W/kg).... Indurain's absolute maximal and submaximal oxygen uptake and power output still compare favorably with those exhibited by active professional cyclists." Certainly 14 years after retirement he is not doping yet look at the results above. Not so sure you cannot win the Tour clean, and LeMond had a higher VO2 max than Indurain (won 3, but was shot partway through career so who knows how many he could have won)
Raoul Duke More than 1 year ago
LeMond, won TDF in 1986, shot, returned to TDF in 1989-won, 1990-won. Without that accident I think he would have been the first 5-time winner especially considering he likely could have won in 1985, but worked for Hinault, LeMond ordered to wait on stages, finished 2nd 1:42 behind Hinault.
tralala More than 1 year ago
indurain was the last and hinault was before him.
Raoul Duke More than 1 year ago
yes, thanks for making that clear. Have a good day tralala!
Rob Slater More than 1 year ago
The first obligation of any bureaucracy is to perpetuate itself. This, the UCI does admirably well, if not at all ethically. The UCI is a marvelous parody of itself, and Armstrong and the Union deserve each other. They, and many others whom I had once admired and followed, have sullied the sport for me. I am no longer interested in the riders; my enthusiasm is reserved for the races, the corsa, the cobbles, the murs and cols, the weather. My god Paris-Roubaix was great!