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McQuaid reacts to Lemond, rejects criticism

Pat McQuaid wasn't invited to the Tour by organiser ASO

Pat McQuaid wasn't invited to the Tour by organiser ASO (Image credit: AFP)

By Shane Stokes

UCI President Pat McQuaid has responded to Greg LeMond’s recent criticism of the governing body, stating that the American’s claims are unfounded and that his suggested course of action is misguided. Speaking to the Colorado Daily Camera in an interview published on Saturday, the former Tour winner and world champion blasted the UCI, saying that it had been negligent in the past on the doping issue. He urged ASO to divorce itself from the UCI for this reason.

"Greg LeMond would need to be very careful," McQuaid told Cyclingnews in response. "I refute completely any allegations of corruption in the UCI, either now or in the past. We have always fought 100 percent in the fight against doping.

"If Greg LeMond was so sure, if he knew so much about the activities that were going on at the time he was racing, why did he not come forward to the UCI then with that information instead of talking about it now?" asked McQuaid.

In July ASO said that it would split with the world body over the Michael Rasmussen affair at this year's Tour. The organisation backtracked on this a few days later, but in the Colorado Daily Camera interview, LeMond recommends that this is the correct way forward. McQuaid, however, said that this would be utterly counterproductive.

"Making a suggestion such as that ASO should divorce itself from the UCI is, to my mind, ridiculous," he said. "The new Minister for Sport in France recently told ASO that they cannot avoid the UCI, they must work with the UCI, and she encouraged them to go and do just that.

"I think that everybody in the sport should be working together in the fight against doping," added the Irishman. "It [doping] is the biggest problem within the sport at the moment and all of these stakeholders, all of those involved in the family of cycling should work together to ensure that we overcome this scourge and get cycling back on the proper path."

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