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Eyes of the cycling world on Switzerland as Pat McQuaid reveals governing body's stance this lunchtime...

The UCI has announced that it will not appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and has ratified the United States Anti-Doping Agency's  decision to ban the Lance Armstrong from sport for life and strip him of results dating back to 1998, including the seven Tour de France titles he won between 1999 and 2005. "Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling," insisted UCI President Pat McQuaid.

Announcement of the decision, which took place in a conference room in a hotel at Geneva airport, was immediately followed by a question and answer session with the press in which McQuaid looked increasingly uncomfortable as he was grilled about issue including allegations the UCI had helped cover up a suspect test by Armstrong, its decision to accept significant donations from the rider, and the UCI's determination to sue journalist Paul Kimmage for defamation.

McQuaid was also asked about Johan Bruyneel, Armstrong's former manager at US Postal, Astana and RadioShack, but pointed out he was unable to respond since the Belgian has elected for arbitration and the case is therefore stil open.

No decision has yet been made about potential reassignment of the seven Tour de France titles stripped from Armstrong. Race organisers ASO have said that the winner's name should be left blank from 1999-2005. McQuaid said that was an issue that woiuld be addressed at a UCI management committee meeting convened for Friday, which would also address other questions arising from the Armstrong scandal.

Some of the key quotes from McQuaid appear below, and the UCI's press release is also repeated, with its full decision attached at the end of this article. 

In his opening statement:

  • "Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling"

Regarding those who have testimony to USADA:

  • "UCI indeed thanks them for telling their stories"

Regarding the Padova investigation, including reports of Alexandre Vinokourov allegedly wiring money to Michele Ferrari:

  • "We haven't got to this stage of looking for other stuff."

On his own record:

  • “When I started as UCI president I made the fight against doping my priority."

Asked if he plans to step down:

  • "I certainly have no intention of resigning."

Could such a scandal happen again?

  • "These were different times. If we had the tools we have right, it would not have happened.”

On the UCI’s powers:

  • "We don't have police powers. Now we can do more. We would have liked to be able to more out of competition tests. That has changed now."

Regarding the extent of doping that is now being uncovered:

  • "I'm sorry we couldn't catch every single one of them redhanded and throw them out of the sport at the time."

Turning to specifics of the USADA report:

  • "I was sickened by what I read in the USADA report. One thing springs especially to mind and that is Zabriskie."

On David Zabriskie’s testimony that he was coerced into doping (McQuaid added that he accepts the testimony is true):

  • “Mindboggling.”

Challenged on why he was focusing on 1998 to 2005 when USADA’s decision outlined doping by Armstrong after his return to the sport in 2009:

  • "I don't accept the findings in 2009 and 2010."

Asked why the UCI rejected allegations from Floyd Landis in 2010:

  • "We did listen to Landis back then."

Responding to suggestions of a conflict of interest at the UCI:

  • "UCI doesn't see the need to separate governance of cycling and promotion of the sport."

Will cycling ever be drug-free?

  • "I can't say cycling will be 100 per cent free of doping but it can be hugely reduced.

A Freudian slip:

  • “Cycling has faced many crises in the future” [sic]

Regarding cyclists implicated in the Padova enquiry (details emerging from Italy plus the age of riders subject to other disciplinary proceedings this year suggest his assertion is wrong):

  • "It's all older cyclists. Riders whose careers are already over."

On allegations that the UCI was complicit in covering up positive tests:

  • "The UCI deny that any of Armstrong's positives were covered up."

Asked whether he, his predecessor Hein Verbruggen and the UCI would drop their action against Paul Kimmage:

  • "It's a straight defamation case. He called us corrupt."

On the subject of Lance Armstrong’s controversial donations to the UCI – something McQuaid has accepted in the past was an error of judgment:

  • "The UCI would take donations from riders again in the future."

The alternative to backing USADA was that the UCI would decide to appeal some or all of USADA's decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The governing body is itself implicated in USADA's Reasoned Decision, published earlier this month, in helping Armstrong cover up a suspect test for EPO during the 2001 Tour de Suisse.

Today's anouncement will not be the end of the scandal, with further investigations and action likely against a number of individuals whose names arose during USADA's investigation, inlcuding some whose names were redacted from the documentation relating to the case that it published earlier this month.

Armstrong himself appeared briefly at the start of his Livestrong charity's Challenge Ride in Austin, Texas this weekend to address the 4,000 cyclists taking part, but made no reference to USADA's sanctions, nor the impending decision of the UCI. Instead, he said that he had experienced a "very difficult" few weeks, as he had stated on Friday evening when making a speech to a gala dinner to celebrate the charity's 15th birthday.

The text of the UCI's press release appears below and its full decision can be downloaded as an attachment at the end of this article.

THE UCI RECOGNISES USADA DECISION IN ARMSTRONG CASE

The UCI has completed its review of USADA’s ‘Reasoned Decision’ and appendices in the case against Lance Armstrong.

The UCI considered the main issues of jurisdiction, the statute of limitation the evidence gathered by USADA and the sanction imposed upon Mr. Armstrong.

The UCI confirms that it will not appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and that it will recognise the sanction that USADA has imposed.

The USADA decision explains how riders on the USPS Team showed no inclination to share the full extent of what they knew until they were subpoenaed or called by federal investigators and that their only reason for telling the truth is because the law required them to do so.

These riders have confronted their past and told their stories. Their accounts of their past provide a shocking insight into the USPS Team where the expression to ‘win at all costs’ was redefined in terms of deceit, intimidation, coercion and evasion.

Their testimony confirms that the anti-doping infrastructure that existed at that time was, by itself, insufficient and inadequate to detect the practices taking place within the team. The UCI has always been the first international sporting federation to embrace new developments in the fight against doping and it regrets that the anti-doping infrastructure that exists today was not available at that time so as to render such evasion impossible.

Many of the USPS Team riders have already acknowledged that the culture of cycling has now changed and that young riders today are no longer confronted with the same choices to use performance enhancing drugs. They are right to do so.

The UCI has recognized the problem of doping within the sport and taken significant steps to confront the problem and to clean up cycling. Today’s riders are subject to the most innovative and effective anti-doping procedures and regulations in sport. Cycling has been a pioneer in the fight against doping in sport under the leadership of the UCI and this role has been recognised by WADA.

Today’s young riders do not deserve to be branded or tarnished by the past or to pay the price for the Armstrong era. Cycling has a future and those who will define that future can be found among the young generation of riders who have chosen to prove that you can compete and win clean.

Riders who were caught doping continue to do the sport a disservice by protesting that the UCI refused to engage with them. The reality is that these riders never contemplated such action until they were found positive by the UCI, and even then they refused to confess and co-operate with the UCI.

Those riders who made the choice to stop using performance enhancing drugs, and to share their stories to enable the new generation of riders to learn from the mistakes that were made in the past, can continue to support clean cycling.

The role that training and education has to play in discouraging doping at all levels is well recognised by the UCI. The UCI will engage with any rider that is willing to work with them in the fight against doping and interested in establishing what lessons can be learned and applied to its ‘True Champion or Cheat?” programme which is obligatory for all riders subject to anti-doping tests.

This is not the first time cycling has reached a crossroads or that it has had to begin anew and to engage in the painful process of confronting its past. It will do so again with renewed vigor and purpose and its stakeholders and fans can be assured that it will find a new path forward.

That process extends beyond the UCI and the anti-doping agencies including WADA, USADA, AFLD and CONI must contribute to it by also examining how many times they tested Lance Armstrong and by providing their own explanation for why he never tested positive in the tests that they respectively conducted.

The UCI tested Tyler Hamilton 40 times and found him positive. It tested Floyd Landis 46 times and found him positive as the winner of the Tour de France. The list of riders that it has found positive does not end there.

The UCI has tested Lance Armstrong 218 times. If Lance Armstrong was able to beat the system then the responsibility for addressing that rests not only with the UCI but also with WADA and all of the other anti-doping agencies who accepted the results.

The UCI supports WADA’s decision to create a working group to examine ‘The Ineffectiveness of the Fight Against Doping in Sport’ and proposes that it commence its work by examining the effectiveness of the system in place to detect the use of performance enhancing substances in cycling.

The UCI is committed to reviewing the environment upon which the sport operates in order to ensure that something like this never happens again. It has convened a special meeting of its Management Committee on Friday, October 26th to begin the process of examining the existing structures and introducing changes to safeguard the future of cycling.

UCI Communications Service

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.

55 comments

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Sudor [188 posts] 3 years ago
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I hope Pat McQuid sanctions the findings of USDA and then goes on to announce an independent investigation as to who, how and why at the UCI acted as spineless sh*ts to ignore and fail to protect clean riders who were whistle blowing and being persecuted by the likes of Armstrong.

I hope he then goes on to announce his resignation for the sake of the UCI and cycling generally.

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drheaton [3318 posts] 3 years ago
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Can't believe that it'll just be as simple as a 'yes, we accept USADAs decision'. Why the need for a press conference if that's all that's happening?

I'm also hoping that the UCI will be launching an independent investigation but I'm not holding my breath.

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Super Domestique [1605 posts] 3 years ago
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Maybe its to say Lance is innocent?  3

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Seoige [104 posts] 3 years ago
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We will wait with bated breadth for the road cc report. Next to the London Olympics it will be the biggest event on the calender after a great year doing cycling sportives. You have to smile at UCI they have taken away their email address from their website McQuaid will have to make radical changes for me in order to support the pro teams. He will have to embrace the report and stamp their authority. Heads will have to roll even as a precursor to the Italians getting on board. Bless they are no pushovers and they will leave no stone unturned.  39 Pat McQuid today will be either the most famous or infamous man in cycling history as a governing body.

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SideBurn [890 posts] 3 years ago
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Seoige wrote:

Pat McQuid today will be either the most famous or infamous man in cycling history

Have you spelt his name wrong or are you trying to say something? 'cos surely it would be Pat McDollar? But it does not have the same ring.....

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Seoige [104 posts] 3 years ago
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Clever Sideburns you pegged it right.  3 I should read Pat McGo  24 Sound even better.

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Clenbutador [15 posts] 3 years ago
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Ah, UCI press conference re Lance Armstrong. I love the smell of bullshit in the morning....

Will be very interesting to see how McQuaid will spin this. Either way he's buggered.

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James Warrener [1083 posts] 3 years ago
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16 mins to go  4

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James Warrener [1083 posts] 3 years ago
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AND THEY ARE OFF

according to Velorooms no contest from UCI and Lance has no place in our sport.

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James Warrener [1083 posts] 3 years ago
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As confirmed by the updated news article on the site  1

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Timbo13 [264 posts] 3 years ago
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BBC says he is stripped of all results since 1998. Does that elevate Wiggo to 3rd for 2009?

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notfastenough [3695 posts] 3 years ago
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Neither does Pat...

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AWPeleton [3347 posts] 3 years ago
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Timbo13 wrote:

BBC says he is stripped of all results since 1998. Does that elevate Wiggo to 3rd for 2009?

Yep

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drheaton [3318 posts] 3 years ago
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stumps wrote:
Timbo13 wrote:

BBC says he is stripped of all results since 1998. Does that elevate Wiggo to 3rd for 2009?

Yep

It depends, if they leave all of the doped placings empty rather than promoting anyone then there'll just be a blank space where Armstrong was and Wiggins would remain 4th. Bit of an odd situation but I quite like this:

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/blogs/blazin-saddles/really-won-tours-lanc...

Basically Carlos Sastre could end up a multiple winner, as might Daniele Nardello.

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 3 years ago
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Only just got in to catch it 10 minutes ago, missed all the good bits, just listening to the questions from the press.

Is Paul Kimmage there.........  19

Have/will the UCI be publishing online the documents they have given the press in the packs today?

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xkiller213 [10 posts] 3 years ago
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So... they're (UCI) still not denying that they were not bribed right?

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antonio [1125 posts] 3 years ago
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I think the Big Texan is about to cock his Colt 45, with everything now taken from him he has little to lose, if I were Hein and Mac, I'd be looking bullet proof vests.

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WolfieSmith [1323 posts] 3 years ago
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Pat trying to differentiate between 'positive' tests and 'suspicious' tests. Zzzzzz

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 3 years ago
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That's just what I was thinking, Time to get the shotgun in the mouth. He's royally screwed now.

Very interesting reactions to the £100,000 questions  19

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bikewithnoname [87 posts] 3 years ago
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So to paraphrase:

“Thanks to the USADA for doing what we should of done years ago. Any suggestion that the UCI were in any way inadequate or complicit is a LIE and we’ll sue you if you even think about it (just like our old friend Lance)”

UCI is rotten and has no interest in cleaning up the sport or exorcising it’s demons.

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drheaton [3318 posts] 3 years ago
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Give the UCI some slack, they were fighting a losing battle against doping in the last couple of decades. At the time they just weren't as capable of catching, or even getting anywhere near to catching, most cheats. If nothing else, the USADA report outlines just how advanced Armstrong's doping program was and no matter what the UCI did (and let's remember, there was no WADA back then) it was unlikely they'd have caught him.

Even if the UCI did look the other way, or even go as far as to cover it up, they (or more likely the guys at the top) probably thought that they were doing it in the best interests of the sport. To grow the sport into the one area it never really touched (America) they pinned all their hopes on Armstrong and for the most part that worked out, the US is now more interested in pro-cycling, there are more American cyclists, teams and sponsors and more elite level races.

As horrific as most of Armstrong's legacy will no doubt be (the fact that he advanced doping to a whole new level and set back the anti-doping fight maybe a decade) there are also two huge positives, the fact that he helped break cycling across the English speaking world more so than any other cyclist in history and the charity work he's done. Yeah, the charity work and everything else is all built on a lie, but it doesn't make it any less charitable.

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Clenbutador [15 posts] 3 years ago
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Still a rap across the knuckles for USADA concerning 'Jurisdiction' and 'Statute of Limitations' issues don't you think?

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 3 years ago
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I don't think Lance will take too kindly to Pat hanging him out to dry. And he knows more about the UCI's role in all this than anyone. Stand by for a shitstorm of incriminating evidence originating from Austin.

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hairyairey [300 posts] 3 years ago
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I still haven't made a start on the evidence, but this article has made up my mind

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/more-sports/zone-lance-armstrong-bully...

What a shocking bully Lance Armstrong has turned out to be. Maybe he should have listened to his stepfather Mr Armstrong who tried to convert him to Christianity? The problems he would have now are nothing compared to what should come to him, including prison time.

I am still surprised that this was allowed to go on for so long. With so many people forced to dope or take part in it seems Lance has the abilities of an organised criminal.

What a terribly disappointing day for all sports. Sadly I don't think it'll be last doping scandal in sport either and anyone who claims the sport is "now cleaned up" will get short thrift from me!

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badback [302 posts] 3 years ago
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If somebody tried to ban me after I'd retired I'd p!$$ myself. It's like being sacked from a job after you have quit.

At least accepting USADA's evidence saves the UCI having to go into its 'relationship' with Armstrong for now.

Roll on December and the Paul Kimmage case.

It's a shame that other sports would not come out with their drugs issues so that cycling could stop being the whipping boy.

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bigmel [116 posts] 3 years ago
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Nice to see David Millar getting dished with some of the blame as well - or am I reading too much into it?

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bazzargh [152 posts] 3 years ago
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Gkam84 wrote:

Have/will the UCI be publishing online the documents they have given the press in the packs today?

Yup, they (eventually) appeared on the front of the UCI website. The attachments are at the bottom.

http://www.uci.ch/Modules/ENews/ENewsDetails2011.asp?id=ODgzNA&MenuId=MT...

They're not hugely illuminating, just a series of denials for various accusations made against the UCI. For example, they suggest that Jaksche's allegation that they did nothing about the doping schemes he reported isn't true, and that the investigation failed because Jaksche wouldn't testify. Which sortof does suggest that they *did* do nothing since this means his was the only evidence they'd collected?

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drheaton [3318 posts] 3 years ago
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The Rumpo Kid wrote:

I don't think Lance will take too kindly to Pat hanging him out to dry. And he knows more about the UCI's role in all this than anyone. Stand by for a shitstorm of incriminating evidence originating from Austin.

Not gonna happen, whilst Armstrong denies the allegations he can keep face. As soon as he goes after the UCI or admits anything that's it, he has no ability to save face or deny doping. That means the end of his world as he knows it. I doubt he'll do a Hamilton/Landis until absolutely pushed to confess through litigation/federal charges of fraud or some other threat which makes it harder to lie than to confess.

EDIT: Thinking on, Armstrong can't confess. The US prosecuters wanted to go after him for fraud and mis-use of government funds (in relation to doping at US postal). The level of evidence gathered for the USADA report isn't sufficient for a prosecution and prison sentence (otherwise the Grand Jury investigation wouldn't have collapsed) so as long as Armstrong denies it they can't lock him up. If he comes out and admits to doping he goes straight to jail because he's admitting to funding a complex doping program with US government cash.

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AWPeleton [3347 posts] 3 years ago
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Missed the whole press conference as had to nip into hospital  2

Just caught an interview with a reporter from Sky sports and McQuaid, to say he looked uncomfortable was an understatement, but he refused to blame the previous incumbent, Hein Verbruggen, of any wrongdoing or himself.

Lets hope, with nothing to lose, Armstrong sings like a birdie, but i wont hold my breath  14

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 3 years ago
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drheaton wrote:
The Rumpo Kid wrote:

I don't think Lance will take too kindly to Pat hanging him out to dry. And he knows more about the UCI's role in all this than anyone. Stand by for a shitstorm of incriminating evidence originating from Austin.

Not gonna happen, whilst Armstrong denies the allegations he can keep face. As soon as he goes after the UCI or admits anything that's it, he has no ability to save face or deny doping. That means the end of his world as he knows it. I doubt he'll do a Hamilton/Landis until absolutely pushed to confess through litigation/federal charges of fraud or some other threat which makes it harder to lie than to confess.

EDIT: Thinking on, Armstrong can't confess. The US prosecuters wanted to go after him for fraud and mis-use of government funds (in relation to doping at US postal). The level of evidence gathered for the USADA report isn't sufficient for a prosecution and prison sentence (otherwise the Grand Jury investigation wouldn't have collapsed) so as long as Armstrong denies it they can't lock him up. If he comes out and admits to doping he goes straight to jail because he's admitting to funding a complex doping program with US government cash.

I don't think Armstrong will confess, but I can see him leaking information about the UCI to the media.

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