Kimmage calls for UCI transparency

UCI president Pat McQuaid denied Armstrong's donation was a bribe

UCI president Pat McQuaid denied Armstrong's donation was a bribe (Image credit: Stephen Farrand)

Rough Ride author Paul Kimmage has welcomed news that the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) have agreed to allow the attendance of independent observers at this year's Tour de France. However the former professional has called for more to be done in order to clean up the sport of cycling, and pinpointed the Landis allegations as a perfect opportunity.

"It's impossible to say how clean the Tour will be but it's very positive that the UCI and WADA have done that deal, " Kimmage told Cyclingnews. "That at least gives us a chance for some mega scandals, but it's the years that you don't have scandals are generally the dirty Tours.

"I certainly think that in 2008 it was one of the cleanest Tours I have seen but even then I was duped. I saw Kohl and I thought he looked clean and that wasn't the case. You can just hope and in fairness to guys like Wiggins and Vande Velde, they'll be a good barometer of that."

Kimmage spoke to Cyclingnews on the eve of the Tour de France, and having witnessed the fall out from the recent Floyd Landis allegations, believes that the sport must clean its act up from the top down, and not brush issues under the carpet.

Referring to the allegations that the UCI accepted a bribe from Armstrong after a positive test in 2001, Kimmage told Cyclingnews, that reform needs to take place: "It needs to happen. A small example of this is the ‘donation' that Armstrong made to the UCI and we've not had any verification or receipts and they said we'd have all the documentation. The sport can't move on until that's sorted, until we have a credible governing body that is going to govern the sport objectively. There's too much that's gone on there that stinks."

Previously the UCI had said that they would publish receipts of the transaction between Armstrong and the UCI. However no receipts have been made public since the allegations were made by Landis in May.

Landis allegations continue to rumble on. The Wall Street Journal are set to publish an article tomorrow in which the disgraced 2006 Tour de France winner goes into details about his relationship with Armstrong and the doping practices he encountered.

Kimmage believes that the allegations, coupled with the federal involvement in the US could have heavy implications for Amrstrong.

"I do feel that things have changed for him and that the tide has turned, even the general public. People have listened to Landis and what he's said and this is the turning point now."

Cyclingnews attempted to speak to Armstrong at yesterday's Tour de France teams presentation but he refused to talk with us.

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Daniel Benson

Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.