More information needed in relation to Quick-Step allegations

By Shane Stokes

Last week the Belgian daily Het Laatste Nieuws printed a series of articles alleging that Quick-Step manager Patrick Lefevere has been complicit in systematic doping within the team. Furthermore, the newspaper printed claims from an anonymous rider that a UCI informant has helped the team to avoid positive out of competition tests for performance-enhancing products and recreational drugs by leaking details beforehand. Cyclingnews asked UCI President Pat McQuaid how he responded to the latter claim.

"It depends what you mean when you're talking about a mole within the UCI," he answered. "It is nonsense to say that somebody within UCI headquarters will be giving out that information but, that said, we have no control over people out in the field who are, to some extent, representing the UCI. I couldn't guarantee that somebody out there couldn't be giving information.

"I would doubt very much if any of our commissaries were involved in something like that, but I couldn't guarantee it. I can however give an assurance that within the UCI headquarters, there is no way that anybody would be leaking such details."

He says that the UCI is willing to investigate these claims but that more is needed first. "Right now, we are actively looking for concrete information. I think that 95% of the information in the paper was from anonymous sources; we would be looking for those sources to let the UCI know what they know. Even doing it in a confidential way. We have no problem receiving information in such a manner from anybody who might help us in the fight against doping. If we get solid information, we will act on it."

Without that, the UCI must adopt a wait-and-see approach. "For now, the whole story is based on anonymous information. Patrick Lefevere has come back with a very robust and strong defence and is acting within the law in using legal means to prove that this is a vexatious story, a sensationalist story.

"Let's wait and see what happens there. In the meantime, cycling once again suffers from bad publicity which may, as I say, turn out to be completely vexatious. It is unfortunate that we continue to suffer from this type of reporting without the necessary proof."

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