McQuaid has no objection to Landis conference appearance
UCI President says he has not been contacted by US federal investigators
International Cycling Union (UCI) president Pat McQuaid has claimed that he has no objection to Floyd Landis’s appearance at a conference on doping in cycling at Deakin University in Geelong in the week of the world championships.
The world championships organising committee last week withdrew its support of the New Pathways for Professional Cycling conference on learning of Landis’s presence, but McQuaid said that he had “no problem” with the American’s participation. The conference takes place on September 27 and 28.
“My only problem is with [Landis's] modus operandi,” McQuaid told the Associated Press. “I am aware that there are other very high profile athletes who have also been sanctioned for major doping offences that are assisting authorities in the fight against doping. However, they choose to do it, to my mind, in the correct way, by working quietly without any hullabaloo.”
McQuaid also stated that the UCI has not been contacted by investigators from the U.S. federal inquiry into alleged doping in American cycling. He also said that the sport’s governing body has no plans to discuss the matter at its annual congress ahead of the world championships in Melbourne next week.
“They haven’t approached us at all,” McQuaid said. “It’s an investigation that is taking place in America. We’re awaiting the outcome of the investigation.”
McQuaid said that he was not privy to any information on how the investigation was progressing. “I think that is within their own guidelines which wouldn’t allow them to inform others what is going on,” he said.
Meanwhile, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has been assisting the investigation led by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) special agent Jeff Novitzky, while the French anti-doping agency (AFLD) has stated that it is prepared to hand over samples taken from the 1999 Tour de France to federal investigators.
On Wednesday, Stephanie McIlvain, an employee of one of Lance Armstrong’s sponsors Oakley, testified for over seven hours before a grand jury in Los Angeles as part of the investigation. McIlvain was reported to have been called before the federal panel to discuss claims that she had heard Armstrong admit to the use of performance-enhancing substances in 1996.
Her lawyer Tom Bienert told the Los Angeles Times that his client had "testified truthfully” before the grand jury. “Most of what she was asked about was between five and 14 years old, so she didn't have the greatest recall,” Bienert said. “But she confirmed she had no personal knowledge of Lance Armstrong using or taking performance-enhancing drugs."
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Barry Ryan is Head of Features at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation, published by Gill Books.