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Verbruggen: Nothing illegal has happened

By:
Cycling News
Published:
January 17, 2013, 17:20,
Updated:
January 17, 2013, 17:18
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Friday, January 18, 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
  • Ochowicz has also been a long-time employee of Thomas Weisel Partners,

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Account with Armstrong's backer not a conflict of interests, says former UCI president

Former UCI president Hein Verbruggen has admitted that he had assets managed by the investment bank of Thom Weisel, backer of Lance Armstrong’s US Postal Service team, but denied that it constituted a conflict of interests.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that Verbruggen had invested with Armstrong’s former Motorola manager Jim Ochowicz in 1999, when Ochowicz worked as a broker for Robert Baird & Co. When Ochowicz later began to work for Thomas Weisel Partners in 2001, the Verbruggen account moved with him.

"I have given Jim a small amount of money to manage for me, and he moved to Thom Weisel,” Verbruggen told the Associated Press. “I didn't even know who Thom Weisel was. There is no relationship whatsoever. You give a guy that you like a small amount of money to manage and 12 years later, I end up in a doping case."

Verbruggen corroborated the Wall Street Journal story, which said that he held the brokerage account between 1999 and 2004. He stepped down as president of the UCI in 2005, the same year that Armstrong claimed the last of his since rescinded seven Tour de France victories.

US Anti-Doping Agency head Travis Tygart questioned the nature of the relationship between Verbruggen and Thom Weisel, who was a backer of Tailwind Sports the management company behind the US Postal Service team.

“Nothing illegal has happened, or ever did. The comments of Mr. Tygart, I would call them cynical almost," Verbruggen told the Associated Press, adding that he would be prepared to provide information on the transaction to the independent commission established to report on the UCI’s management of the Armstrong affair.

News of Verbruggen’s dealings with Thomas Weisel Partners comes ahead of Thursday evening’s broadcast of Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Lance Armstrong, in which Armstrong is reported to have confessed to doping during his career.

PhrediePhly More than 1 year ago
Without the numbers its just 0 to meaningless
london knight More than 1 year ago
This stinks of corrupution!
Almon Poole More than 1 year ago
I believe the UCI is as dirty as they come. All of these guys were making whatever they could off of the Lance brand and now they want o roll him under the bus when they were probably complicit and helped him get away with doping. This is only coming out because, I would guess, Lance is going to bring up the UCI's involvement in his career with USADA. I think Lance could take down the UCI and it's about time!!!
BalmyB More than 1 year ago
"You give a guy that you like a small amount of money to manage" AND you are the presidents of cyclings governing body giving that money to a person involved in a cycling team AND you facilitate a meeting between the manager and star of the same team with a LAB for details of doping tests AND you accept money from the star of the same team for equipment for doping tests AND The star rider and manager on the same team go on to win 7 doping assisted tours AND "12 years later I end up in a doping case" I am no rocket scientist but.....
Wallace More than 1 year ago
"The comments of Mr. Tygart, I would call them cynical almost," Verbruggen told the Associated Press. I think Verbruggen speaks for all of us here. I mean, why on earth would anyone feel cynical about the sport of cycling and its leadership? Surely nothing has happened in the past few months which would cause anyone to feel anything but unclouded optimism about our sport and its future. La la la. Oh, well, back to my cave.
reubenr More than 1 year ago
Heil!
Donovan Jackson More than 1 year ago
Remind me again, what does credibility look like? Does it look like this, "Lance has never, never, never, never doped." Dope.
howsteepisit More than 1 year ago
The claim of "nothing illegal has happened" always raises a huge red flag to me that some things that were dishonest and immoral have happened.
Rolls Kinardly More than 1 year ago
What was Landis forbidden to say by that swiss court?