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Verbruggen denies Armstrong doping cover-up in letter to IOC

Cycling News
February 13, 2013, 15:21,
February 13, 2013, 15:27
Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, February 13, 2013
UCI president Hein Verbruggen with Lance Armstrong in 2002

UCI president Hein Verbruggen with Lance Armstrong in 2002

  • UCI president Hein Verbruggen with Lance Armstrong in 2002
  • Former UCI president Hein Verbruggen is at the Tour of Oman.
  • Hein Verbruggen
  • Alexander Vinokourov (Casino) leads Lance Armstrong during the 1999 Tour de France

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Former UCI president lashes out at WADA, USADA

Hein Verbruggen, president of the UCI from 1991 through 2005 and an honorary member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), has sent a letter to all 15 members of the IOC Executive Board in which the Dutchman denies the UCI covered up doping positives by Lance Armstrong, according to Verbruggen also lashes out at anti-doping agencies such as WADA and USADA, wondering why there's no suspicion on their behalf regarding what Verbruggen calls a "flawed system" which failed to catch the doping activities of Armstrong and his US Postal teammates

Lance Armstrong's seven consecutive Tour de France victories, from 1999 through 2005, took place during Verbruggen's reign as UCI president. Following an investigation by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), Armstrong was stripped of all his Tour titles and banned for life from sports adhering to WADA code. Armstrong did not contest WADA's findings and later confessed on Oprah Winfrey's talk show to doping during all seven Tour victories.

"I have been frequently accused that during my UCI Presidency, my Federation would not have been too serious in its anti-doping policy and that - in particular the Armstrong case - the UCI and myself would have been involved in covering-up positive tests," wrote Verbruggen, as reported by

"Cover-ups never took place. Not only this would never have been allowed, but also since the there simply was nothing to cover-up. Armstrong, nor his teammates ever tested positive."

Verbruggen, however, did admit that Armstrong tested positive for cortisone during the 1999 Tour de France, but brushed aside any hint of wrong-doing regarding the back-dated Therapeutic Use Exemption.

"There was a finding for cortisone in 1999 (a time when only the UCI was testing for corticosteroids) that was declared as negative also by the French AD [anti-doping]-authorities that conducted the test, since it was the result of the use of an (allowed) ointment," wrote Verbruggen, as reported by "That case was made public immediately and the UCI issued a press release explaining how the case was resolved."

Testimony provided to USADA's investigation by Armstrong's US Postal teammates Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton stated that suspicious test results from Armstrong at the Tour de Suisse suggested EPO use, but Landis and Hamilton testified that Armstrong met with the lab and UCI and nothing further came of the test results. Armstrong denied meeting with the UCI and lab during his confession to Oprah Winfrey.

"There further was a suspicious test for EPO in 2001 but definitely NOT declared positive by the laboratory," stated Verbruggen in his letter.

In his letter, Verbruggen also calls into question WADA and USADA, wondering how the anti-doping agencies are free of suspicion.

"Any suspicion about USADA? About WADA?" Personally, and I am not the only ones, I find that there is a heavy responsibility of WADA since they 'force' the world of sport to spend some US$0.5 billion (some US$600,000 per sanctioned positive test!!) for the fight against doping, while declaring themselves that THEIR (!) whole system is totally flawed."

Evan Shaw More than 1 year ago
Sack the lot of them for god sake
kingkeirin More than 1 year ago
Yeah, because it's all such a mystery......... Lance gave money to the UCI. The UCI tipped him off when the French labs would be able to test for autologous blood transfusion. Why else would someone crush, and I mean crush, the field in his last Tour de France. So definitively in fact, that he could've won again the next year. Instead he retires? Then mysteriously, the next year Vino and Kaschekin both get dinged for blood doping in the same event. I remember when Vino won the road stage after a crash and Liggett said it was like he was a new man - suddenly - after almost two weeks of racing. If only Vino had "donated" to the fight against doping as well............. And Liggett and Sherwen always used to say, "It's not that Lance is so strong on day one, it's that he seems to maintain that strength throughout three weeks." Well sure he did. He was getting a blood transfusion multiple times throughout the three weeks. This is all to say, Verbruggen knew exactly what Lance was doing and took a pay-off to tip Lance off when the labs would be able to test for his preferred doping method. Hence Lance's retirement when he, physiologically speaking, had no need to retire.
roadfreak44 More than 1 year ago
gosh your insinuations are so emphatic where is your PROOF again??? remind me to cross you off the jury duty list if im ever on trial for ANYTHING...
TwelfthGear More than 1 year ago
We're less likely to get proof, since the UCI set up then almost immediately disbanded its independent commission looking into just this issue.
PeterMc More than 1 year ago
Considering what was at stake, Verbrugen was bloody cheap! Someone in his posittion could have been paid millions to do all that you are saying he did......
Terrence Martineau More than 1 year ago
How come Cyclin news is not reporting that UCI has admitted that Armstrong bio-passport profile was not examined from May 2009 until 2010 when he retired again???
mtnguru More than 1 year ago
I think if I were Hein, I would enjoy my retirement and keep my head down and let the chips fall where they may. No one believe he was so unawre of what was going on, granted it could have been because of a flawed system. But more the guy opens his mouth the stupider he looks. I wonder who is going to play him in the movie. Think I might start making youtube videos of myself on a bike to see if I can get a part.
zecarioca More than 1 year ago
this is the reason why sports like tennis, soccer etc don't do almost any drug test, to avoid all this mess, they are plenty of work Dr. Fuentes did for another athletes (according to reports ) no related to cycling and don't see any federation trying or investigating anything. But I really think UCI knew all of this was happening, canot believe that everybody has concerns but them, how innocent UCI was I guess maybe they still believe in the tooth fairy
kom_n91 More than 1 year ago
Help...does anybody know the salaries of the Governing officers of the UCI and WADA..Etc.? It might help understand....?
Matic Robic More than 1 year ago
Well, he does have a point, after all cycling is a sport that is under the WADA code, while many other sports are not. So WADA should also be held accountable for the whole mess.
TwelfthGear More than 1 year ago
'Cover ups never took place.' This from the same guy who gave us, 'Lance Armstrong never doped. Never, never, never.' I don't think anyone takes Verbruggen seriously. His mud-slinging against WADA and USADA is truly pathetic. Sure, they're probably not perfect institutions, but to insinuate that we should suspect them of covering up doping, when they are the ones exposing it, is incredible.
Lord.Bachus More than 1 year ago
Well, personally i totally dislike the dark room pollicies of both UCI as USADA, i dont trust McQuaid, but i don´t trust Lemond and his USADA buddies even less. WE should clean up the lot, and make current day cyclists responsible for their own sport. Power to the cyclists instead of to those filling their pockets in the background. Power to the cyclists and the sponsors, because the sponsors are those that actually invest good money in the sport, and they as well as the cyclists should have the final decisions currently made in the cyclingsport.
Silver Bullet More than 1 year ago
Bachus, LA would be shovelling his b/s down your throat til kingdom come had it not been for USADA. Some respect please.
PeterMc More than 1 year ago
SB, I believed that LA was probably on the juice. As I believed 90% of the peloton was. Did this affect me? Nope. I just accepted it. USADA has not earnt respect from me due to the way it dealt with the Armstrong case and the use of the general media for it's propoganda. It claims a it was (in short) Armstrongs personality that was the driving force behind the toughest penalty ever handed down on an athlete. Since when has the sports anti doping charter included character? It claims that LA inc ran the "MOST SOPHISTICATED SYSTEMATIC DOPING PROGRAM EVER" which, as we are finding out every day since, is utterly wrong! Sophisticated yes, but the most? ever? Well how did Chicken get away with it for 12 years? What about what we are finding out from Manzano? Where has USADA earnt respect?
Silver Bullet More than 1 year ago
Seeing you like matching your perception of USADA hyperbole with your own, let me add some of mine: LA came from the sewer. so sometimes USADA had to get down in the gutter.
70kmph More than 1 year ago
Oh please