Home
USADA's CEO says action taken in USPS case proves ex-UCI president's allegations are groundless...

Travis Tygart, CEO of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), says allegations made by former UCI president Pat McQuaid of a “witch hunt” against Lance Armstrong are groundless.

McQuaid, ousted from his position by Brian Cookson in 2013 nearly a year after USADA banned Armstrong from sport for life, had made the claim in an interview with the last month.

The Irishman said he felt a “certain sympathy” with Armstrong. He added: "He was very much made a scapegoat, there was a witch-hunt after Armstrong."

The language used by McQuaid is similar to that used by Armstrong and his defence team right up until the Texan’s admission in a January 2013 television interview with Oprah Winfrey that he had in fact cheated his way to seven successive Tour de France victories from 1999 to 2005.

Tygart, speaking to the press at an anti-doping conference in Singapore, said that USADA’s investigation into Armstrong and the United States Postal Service (USPS) team demonstrated that the former UCI president’s allegations were unfounded.

According to an AFP report, Tygart said: "It is easy for Pat McQuaid or others to say soundbites like he said," adding, “the evidence is telling.

“There have been roughly 26 athletes, coaches, team doctors who have been held accountable. Several of them have gotten lifetime bans as well.”

Dr Michele Ferrari, with whom Armstrong trained, was banned for life while Johan Bruyneel, his former manager at USPS, Astana and RadioShack, was banned from involvement with sport for 10 years.

Several of Armstrong’s former team mates who provided testimony to USADA that helped bring him down were given reduced six-month bans as a result of their co-operation.

They included riders of the stature of George Hincapie and Levi Leipheimer, but McQuaid had insisted that "USADA wanted a big name," and was not "really interested in the smaller riders.”

He added: “Also they made deals with the smaller riders in order to get the information they needed on the big guys."

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

12 comments

Avatar
Beefy [381 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

How can cheating be less worthy of a ban if you co-operate with investigations? Surely all drug cheats should be treated the same. I think that includes all the past tour winners who took drugs, they should be stripped of there titles! I'm not defending LA he should be banned and stripped of titles but so should the other cheating scum bags in our sport. I don't think we even need positive drug tests either as LA widely proclaimed he never failed a test. So testimony or self admission should be used with out testing being required.

I realise this may cause massive chunks of cycling history without winners, this shouldn't matter. If there was not a witch hunt which I strongly belive there was not, then all the fraudulent riders should be treated the same. I have read quotes from some of the past greats talking about drug use openly.

Take there titles or take no bodies. I don't care if one cheat was kinder to people than others who were total shits, that does not change the fact they gained there titles by taking performance enhancing drugs and so they should not be allowed to hold there titles. Everyone should be treated the same  39 If they are not then it just gives LA a moral case in his claim there was a whitch hunt.

Avatar
Jonny_Trousers [277 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

^ I kind of agree with you. We all know Lance was a manipulator, a narcissist and a bully, but the fact remains, several confessed drug cheats are still lauded as sporting heroes while we publicly crucify Armstrong. I'm sure the fact that He is a brash, cocky Texan didn't do him any favours.

Anyway, bollocks to him. I have no sympathy. He should have come clean and taken a reduced sentence too.

Avatar
fukawitribe [2087 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Beefy wrote:

How can cheating be less worthy of a ban if you co-operate with investigations? Surely all drug cheats should be treated the same. I think that includes all the past tour winners who took drugs, they should be stripped of there titles!

Which guys who have co-operated were not stripped of titles won during their (self-confessed or not) doping periods ?

Avatar
evojm72 (not verified) [368 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Jonny_Trousers wrote:

...several confessed drug cheats are still lauded as sporting heroes while we publicly crucify Armstrong.

I'm looking at you David Millar

Avatar
manmachine [101 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

The hypocrisy is just beyond the pale.

And, the notion of having "massive chunks" of time periods with no winners has got to be one of the most thought-less, illogical comments I have heard in a while on the subject.  41

UFB. Out of the probably millions of comments on the subject I think I have read about a handful of logical ones while the rest have been predicated on sheer emotional and psychological thought. Simply amazing. It's like 15 year old school girls crying over a boy or boys they adored...  20 20
Oh, and Tygart is nothing more than a sniveling little douchebag. About as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike...

Sad, embarrassing and quite sickening. It's no wonder that amongst most other sports, spandex wearing cyclist are viewed as a bunch of whining pussies...  29

Avatar
Beefy [381 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I was referring to the well known drug cheats who still have there titles not the titles held by those who co-operated I think there is a vast list during and prior LA, in fact I think it goes right back to the days when drugs where embraced by cycling before doping was banned. Some of the people we refer to as greats of cycling.

Avatar
Colin Peyresourde [1828 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

You would need to be more explicit about it because I don't have a clue who you mean.

LA is a self serving douche and I'm glad he cocked up his PR rehabilitation by breaking the law and lying about it.

The bollocks that man has....what would he have been like if he's had two!?'

Avatar
Cyclist in Exile [18 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Lance is a great manipulator and is proving to be so even today with his carefully timed media appearances and interview with the BBC, which served only to reignite the discussion none of us thought we needed to have: should we forgive him?

McQuaid's comments are simply a broadside against the institution and community that fundamentally rejected him. Lest we forget that he was largely part of the problem in the "Lance era".

Avatar
pwake [429 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

There's not really much content of Tygart's statement in this article apart from his having a dig at McQuaid.
He was also very complimentary about the current UCI setup, but the most interesting quote was him stating (referring to the UCI): “And I think they appreciate that they had a bad culture where athletes had no choice other than the use of drugs if they wanted to compete and win.”
So are Lance and Travis now saying the same thing?  39

Avatar
oozaveared [937 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Beefy wrote:

I was referring to the well known drug cheats who still have there titles not the titles held by those who co-operated I think there is a vast list during and prior LA, in fact I think it goes right back to the days when drugs where embraced by cycling before doping was banned. Some of the people we refer to as greats of cycling.

Indeed:
Coppi
Anquetil
Maertens
Merckx
Simpson
Thevenet
Delgado
Fignon
Pantani
et al

Avatar
BikeJon [203 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
evojm72 wrote:
Jonny_Trousers wrote:

...several confessed drug cheats are still lauded as sporting heroes while we publicly crucify Armstrong.

I'm looking at you David Millar

Millar has demonstrated proper repentance though. And unlike Armstrong he isn't crying about having titles he had stripped from him returned. He also campaigned as an anti-doper and spoken against the omerta. What else would you have him do after making mistakes and admitting them and taking responsibility for them?
I respect him not so much as a 'sporting hero' but more an example of maturity.

In my view Armstrong has so much to do and he gets 'publicly crucified' because he keeps pushing his own personal agenda publicly without addressing these major flaws in his character and behaviour. He wants forgiveness to just 'happen', which it might I suppose but he could help it along its way.

Avatar
andyp [1549 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Pantani, of course, 'never tested positive'.

I can't quite remember who that line came from...  3