TechPowered By

More tech

Verbruggen claims Armstrong made his life "a misery"

By:
Cycling News
Published:
December 18, 2013, 03:32,
Updated:
December 18, 2013, 03:59
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Former UCI president Hein Verbruggen is at the Tour of Oman.

Former UCI president Hein Verbruggen is at the Tour of Oman.

view thumbnail gallery

Former UCI President denies allegations and seeks an apology from Texan

Having been accused of covering up Lance Armstrong's drug-taking, Hein Verbruggen has responded to the claims by calling them "b---s---." He has also revealed the "misery" he has suffered since the allegations emerged in his first lengthy response since the claims were made last month over the suppression of a positive test during the 1999 Tour de France.

The former UCI president has accused Armstrong of making the accusations for financial gain a produced documentary evidence aimed at clarifying that there was no positive test. He added that there was no corruption during his reign in charge of the UCI and asked Armstrong for an apology over the accusations.

"You will never, ever find any cover-up in the UCI while I was president, and I'm sure afterwards neither. There is no bribery, whatever they say," said Verbruggen.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Verbruggen argued that the accusations were designed to reduce the life ban imposed on Armstrong by the UCI following the USADA reasoned decision which resulted in him being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles. Armstrong was accused by USADA of the "most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme sport has ever seen."

Armstrong claimed last month that Verbruggen had helped suppress news of his doping in the 1999 Tour by agreeing to blame a positive test on a backdated prescription for a steroid cream to treat saddle sores. Armstrong said that he discussed the adverse finding for cortisone with Verbruggen, who said it would be a "knockout punch" for cycling after the previous year's Festina scandal and that they had to "come up with something."

Verbruggen's interview was an attempt to set the record straight as he produced an official report which he said was evidence that there was no positive test to cover up because the findings were the result of a legal cream.

Insisting that UCI rules required a prescription, but not a backdated one, Verbruggen told the newspaper, "It's a bullshit story and nothing else. Never, ever would I have had a conversation saying, 'We have to take care of this.' It might very well be that he or somebody else from the team has given me a call and my first reaction was, 'S---. We had this Festina problem and now this'. But that's a very long way from concluding we have to do something about it."

Verbruggen accused Armstrong of destroying his reputation as the American reveals the details of his doping regime. "I see it as if I'm part of a kind of industry now: it's called the Lance Armstrong industry. People are making films now. It's all part of the industry. You have a lot of people in it with a vested interest, and this interest is clearly not to know the truth," he said.

"Lance Armstrong has his own agenda and that is certainly his own personal interest, whether it is that he wants his sanctions to be reduced or whether he wants money. Usually, with Lance, there is always an interest in money. My interest is the truth."

The latest allegations over Verbruggen's complicit role in Armstrong's doping first emerged in 2010 when Armstrong's former team-mate Floyd Landis claimed his fellow American had boasted about getting a positive test covered up. Verbruggen's attempt to seek an apology via letter in June garnered no response.

Verbruggen reiterated that neither he nor the UCI supressed a positive doping test. The Dutchman insisted he would "never forget, or forgive" Armstrong for suggesting he or others at the UCI were corrupt, adding, "He caused me a lot of misery."

Verbruggen also hit back over allegations that two six-figure donations by Armstrong to the UCI were bribes or that he had inappropriate financial dealings with a backer of the American's US Postal Service team. Insisting the donations were never hidden by the UCI, Verbruggen reiterated that accepting them was a mistake in hindsight.

Verbruggen provided records and other documents during his interview to show that he lost money in investing with Thomas Weisel's firm and insisted he had no knowledge of Weisel's involvement with Armstrong's team when the investment was made on his behalf.

Verbruggen denied being too close to the American, insisting they were never friends and that he had more contact with other riders. Despite their mutual enmity, Verbruggen agreed with Armstrong that he had been unfairly demonised, even by the man who replaced him as UCI president eight years ago.

"Pat McQuaid [former UCI president] said about Lance Armstrong, 'Lance has no place in cycling'. I would never have said that. We know now that at that time, yes, there were a lot of people on EPO and he was one of them. Nobody should single him out on that basis," he said.

Oxygen Vector 10 months ago
hahahahahahaha Yeah Hein. Poor baby.
BadScreenWrtr 10 months ago
They're trying to get Max Scherck to play the role of Verbruggen in the films.
HeadPack 10 months ago
Thanks Lance for making this guy's life a misery.
Heckler. 10 months ago
He was speaking metaphorically.
HeadPack 10 months ago
Reads like proper whining though. From someone whose reputation went to zero.
bike_boy 10 months ago
So Lance did some good stuff while he was riding after all. I sincerely hope he gets some well deserved recognition for this.
Dear Wiggo 10 months ago
Lance never, never, never doped. Hein never, never, never accepted bribes or followed the path of corruption. I will never, never, never believe a word this man says.
azureskies 10 months ago
Lance is doing some good work cleaning up cycling. Chapaue Lance.
shapiro 10 months ago
Enjoying the Lance/Hein side show! They deserve each other.
Silver Bullet 10 months ago
"My interest is the truth." well p1ss my pants.
DjangoFurioso 10 months ago
The truth? The truth?!? He can't handle the truth!
WildspokeJoe 10 months ago
Could Verbruggen actually make Lance look like a sympathetic character….? Nah.
Robert21 10 months ago
All the proof needed of Verbruggen's complicity in Armstrong's doping can be summed up in just three words 'The Vrijman report'.
Chuck_T 10 months ago
Spot on.
Heckler. 10 months ago
Thats two words.
straumoy 10 months ago
no..
Heckler. 10 months ago
Well its 3 if you count the The as a word but if you don't count the The its 2.
Mathew Mitchell 10 months ago
If you don't count The, Vrijman or Report, it's 0.
Heckler. 10 months ago
Thats being pedantic Matthew. And anyway Vrijman isnt even a proper word.
Lance, remember Bassons? 10 months ago
Wow, total agreement by all on a cycling news thread? ..........must be the season of good will. Not even Heckler (where has he gone??) would defend Verbruggen. Come one Heckler... post something and make it a full house of agreement & good cheer!!
Heckler. 10 months ago
The only reason Lance got caught is the work Hein and Pt did in cleaning the sport up so I htink we should listen to what thism an says and give him some respect.
Lance, remember Bassons? 10 months ago
You just couldn't help yourself could you. Naughty boy Heckler.
barthvos 10 months ago
Hein and Pat did not catch Lance, USADA did. Hein had little to work with as tests are concerned, so he couldn't do that much. But his comment earlier about the positive cortisone lab-result doesn't speak for him." It was only a cortisone case".
DirtyWorks 10 months ago
People seem to forget BOTH the UCI and USA Cycling tried to stop USADA's sanctions.