Will former UCI president Hein Verbruggen be called to testify in the United States as part of a federal probe into the allegations made against Lance Armstrong? The instigator whose actions sparked the case, Floyd Landis, seems to think so.
In e-mails leaked to Cyclingnews, Verbruggen labels Floyd Landis as "a nuisance" and suggested that he succeeded so well in the role that he should get a "yellow jersey" for his efforts.
Verbuggen initiated the exchange with Landis by forwarding a link to an article written by John Leicester of the Associated Press. The story detailed the feelings of vindication shared by the employees of the Chatenay-Malabry laboratory, which Landis had accused of sloppy work and dishonesty, after the American admitted in May that he had doped during his career.
While the US investigators led by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) special agent Jeff Novitzky continue to take seriously the allegations made by Landis, Verbruggen said that he is "not worth any further word or attention except perhaps from psychiatrists" when pressed by Landis to "tell the truth along with Mr. Armstrong".
Verbruggen was accused by Landis of helping to cover up a positive doping test by Armstrong in 2001, but he vehemently denied in the press and in the e-mail exchange with Landis of ever having practiced such deceit.
The full exchange, as sent to Cyclignews, appears in chronological order below.
From: Hein Verbruggen
Sent: Wednesday, June 2, 2010
To: Floyd Landis
Subject: The Associated Press: Victims of Landis' deceit celebrate confession
Dear Mr. Landis,
I did not want to accept the risk that you would miss this article.
After reading you might, together with me, conclude that if being a nuisance to (many) other people would be the main objective of your life, you succeed so well that you should still get a yellow jersey (this time WELL DESERVED!!).
Sent: Thursday, June 03, 2010 6:16 PM
I did see it and I do get satisfaction from seeing others made happy. My life could have been focused on that had you done your job (honestly) before I ever had the opportunity to wear a yellow jersey.
Now if you'll also tell the truth along with Mr. Armstrong, I'm sure you'll make them celebrate a second time. I assure you that I'll forward all news links to you when that happens.
Have a great day.
Sent: Thursday, Jun 3, 2010, at 10:01 AM
Thank you Mr. Landis.
Having lived for 69 years now, I sure have made mistakes but never the one that you made : being fundamentally dishonest with other people.
As to my activities in sport, I dedicated 30 years to sport as an administrator of which the last 15 on a full time basis. I never took any money, presents or other remunerations. I declared under oath in a French court that I have never put a doping case under the table nor any other breach of the rules. And I take oaths very serious. Also, after a thorough investigation, that court concluded that under my presidency the UCI has done everything (!) against doping it possibly could have done. That is the truth you are asking for and nothing else than the truth. Nobody, absolutely nobody, will ever be able to come up with a proof of me having been dishonest.
Now here comes a person like you (and with your records!) who tells me I am dishonest and even repeats this in public (spare me the argument that it was "someone else" who told you). What mentality one must have to do things like that to other persons? Just give it a thought that I indeed speak the truth and then judge yourself, judge your mentality! All this because you need to see other victims around you now you are one yourself. Because it becomes clear that you still do not see yourself as someone responsible for his own deeds and mistakes; no you see yourself as a victim of what other people did. But you are an adult person and you should accept that whoever influenced your decisions (your parents positively no doubt and others perhaps negatively), it is you and no one else than you who took the decision to use drugs and you should take that responsibility as a man. That is the mentality you should show. That is also the best way to restore self respect and to face the future. By making innocent people (and yes, I am innocent on what you said about me!), you show that you still have not accepted yourself as a responsible person. I'm sorry for you; really sorry.
Sent: Fri Jun 04 12:05:44 2010
You certainly have lived longer and seen much more corruption than I, so I'll take what you say with that in mind. I'd also like to congratulate you on being the first person ever to have lived 69 years without ever having told a lie (being fundamentally dishonest with other people). For that you deserve a yellow jersey for honesty and I'd like to be the one to present it to you. I'll be glad to do so when you present yourself here, in the United States of America, to testify in front of the grand jury that is assembled to determine if you've ever lied.
Regarding my decisions to dope and to lie. I made bad choices and cannot change them but I learned one thing a few weeks ago that my parents have always tried to teach me: the truth shall set you free. I think that even applies after 69 years of lies, maybe you can confirm that for me.
Thanks again Floyd Landis Yellow Jersey Wearer: Nuisance Category
Sent: June 4, 2010 9:15:23 AM PDT
Mr. Landis, you're not worth any further word or attention except perhaps from psychiatrists. HV