Verbruggen reacts to Pound statements

The president of the International Cycling Union, Hein Verbruggen has replied to what World Anti-Doping Agency Chairman Dick Pound alleged in a press conference yesterday: that he himself provided the French journalist of L'Equipe with the necessary documents to reveal the claimed taking of EPO by Lance Armstrong in the 1999 Tour de France.

"The journalist came to the UCI wanting to write a positive story about Armstrong," Verbruggen told Dutch paper Telegraaf. "For this, he wanted insight in his medical dossier. Armstrong and the UCI agreed to this after long discussions. He couldn't find anything, as they were all blank. Armstrong never used any medications.

"The journalist then asked if he could have a copy for his story, and abused the code number on it. He was in possession of the other five already, but he didn't say anything about it, and L'Equipe appeared on the newsstands with six forms on it. That's how they draw their conclusions.

"I find it odd that these samples were used for a scientific purpose," Verbruggen added. "This can only be done with the agreement of the athlete, and it didn't happen."

The current president of the UCI also expressed his views on former German federation Sylvia Schenk's complaints over the legitimacy of Pat McQuaid's presidential candidacy.

"It's irritating that I have to use a lot of my energy in negative matters lately," Verbruggen continued. "Besides Pound, who loses his mind as soon as the press gets near, Schenk also spends her time accusing the UCI. Ironically, you can say that she cost the UCI more than Pat McQuaid, my designated successor, who gets paid for the work that he does for us. We have now hired a lawyer to go after Schenk as she went too far." Schenk's complaint argued that no member of the UCI Management Committee could at the same time be in a contractual situation with the UCI.

In an official declaration, the UCI today confirmed that Schenk is being sued by the UCI, its President and Pat McQuaid for defamation. Another complaint against Schenk was filed with the UCI Ethics Commission by eleven members of the Management Committee, on the grounds that she had breached the principle of confidentiality.

Meanwhile, the UCI Appeals Board has examined the complaint of Mr. Darshan Singh, one of the five candidates for presidency, who claimed that the changing of the electoral delegates of the Asian confederation was inadmissible. The candidates had been voted on in January 2005, and were about to be exchanged four months later, but a procedure mistake (the vote by correspondence does not comply with UCI statutes) has now made the second vote nigh. Therefore, the initial candidates will cast their votes in the UCI presidency elections in Madrid.

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