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So much for truth and reconcilliation? Pat McQuaid lets rip at UCI's ex-doper critics ...

Lance Armstrong should be "forgotten by cycling" said the UCI president, Pat McQuaid yesterday - but the combatitive Irishman revealed that he hasn't forgotten about Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis, the two men whose revelations did most to bring Armstrong down. In the Daily Telegraph he describes the pair as "scumbags".

Given McQuaid's obvious contempt for ex-dopers, especially those that have criticised the UCI over its handling of the problem, it is little wonder that the UCI president seemed yesterday to have little appetite for the setting up of a truth and reconciliation commission - something supported by the USADA - even though it was he who first floated the suggestion earlier this summer. Even if such a commission were set up there has to be some doubt as to how it could actually operate given both McQuaid and the UCI's sensitivity to criticism.

McQuaid's attack on the two riders appears to have been sparked by David Millar's call for the UCI to apologise for its failures over the extent of doping in the sport.  Millar - who came back after serving a ban for doping to campaign for a cleaner sport - has been openly critictical of McQuaid and the UCI.

"They didn’t hold Millar’s hand when he stuck a needle in his backside. He is an adult and they know they are breaking the rules. It’s not the president’s responsibility if they go into a doping programme," said McQuaid.

"Another thing that annoys me is that Landis and Hamilton are being made out to be heroes. They are as far from heroes as night and day. They are not heroes. They are scumbags. All they have done is damage to the sport.”

Earlier this month the UCI, McQuaid and the UCI's ex-president, Hein Verbruggen won a case for defamation against Landis in a Swiss court by default when Landis failed to contest the charge. In December the UCI, McQuaid and Verbruggen go to court again alleging defamation by the ex-Sunday Times journalist Paul Kimmage. The difference on this occasion will be that Kimmage who is backed by a £50,000 defence fund raised by cycling fans, and the journalist will certainly contest the charge.

Kimmage, Landis and Hamilton allege that the UCI accepted a payment totalling $125,000 from Lance Armstrong after the 2001 Tour du Suisse in return for covering up a positive test for EPO. The UCI flatly denies the allegation and says that the test in question was merely 'suspicious' rather than 'positive'. However as the USADA points out in its Reasoned Decision under current testing procedures Armstrong's sample would be classed as a positive - and it was close to positive even by the less precise criteria of 2001.

Interestingly although the same allegation is made by Tyler Hamilton in his book, The Secret Race, the UCI are not taking action against him or co-author Daniel Coyle. However yesterday McQuaid did have plenty to say about both Hamilton and his book.

“We called Hamilton in [after he failed a dope test],” said McQuaid. “He said our machines were wrong. We said ‘we are after you’. He was positive two, maybe three times, eventually he was thrown out of the sport.

"He then spends the next few years trying to prove he was a twin before he was born or something like that and prove the scientific community wrong. He loses his marriage and his money.

"What does he do now? Writes a book just before the USADA report is announced and is making money left right and centre. What good is he doing the sport? He’s on a personal mission to make money for himself.”

The uncomfortable truth for both McQuaid and the UCI is that Hamilton's book and the USADA's Resoned Decision are striking similar in much of what they have to say - indeed USADA endorses the veracity of the book in its Reasoned Decision. Indeed while both Hamilton and Landis were not so long ago both ridiculed for their claims both appear to have been vindicated - as the testimonies in USADA's evidence against Armstrong has proved.

No wonder, some might conclude, that the UCI president wants cycling to forget all about Lance Armstrong.

Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.

52 comments

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Al__S [1052 posts] 3 years ago
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Pat McQuaid is a clown. A terrorist. Like Colonel Gaddafi.

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mingmong [263 posts] 3 years ago
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# It's time to play the music

It's time to light the lights ... #

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alotronic [477 posts] 3 years ago
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I guess we get ten more years for all this to play out... sighs... turns off internet...

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wingsofspeed68 [63 posts] 3 years ago
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"Another thing that annoys me is that Landis and Hamilton are being made out to be heroes. They are as far from heroes as night and day. They are not heroes. They are scumbags. All they have done is damage to the sport.”

I guess it would have all been much better, Mr McQuaid, if we just let it lie and let Armstrong continue his fraud (which looks like it might actually cost him some money now - hope he is bankrupt by the end of the year) ignoring the fact that the sport is dirty and will continue like that until you have someone in charge with some morals!

Hamilton and Landis might not be heroes but at least they had some dignity left to come clean. Armstrong has nothing and I feel embarrassed for all the fops turning up to listen to him. A deluded man with not a hint of a conscience.

Mr McQuaid, if you really love the sport then step down - go gracefully rather than having all the pro-riders calling for your head by the end of next season.

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georgee [167 posts] 3 years ago
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What a clown, let's hope there no investigative journo's out there going through his bins and rummaging up evidence of the man's corruption

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Clenbutador [15 posts] 3 years ago
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I think he has a point. All dopers are scumbags. But then he should know.....

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hoski [81 posts] 3 years ago
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McQuaid's worse than a clown. He's got that fantastic combination of being both sly and a moron. Well, attempting to be sly anyway. I can't quite understand his actions - they follow no logic whatsoever and make him look wholly unsuitable to head any kind of organisation.

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Colin Peyresourde [1750 posts] 3 years ago
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McQuaid's comments just go to show that the UCI is still poisoned by the drug legacy. If McQuaid was serious about doing the right thing a truth and conciliation session is the right way forward.

Publicly calling Landis and Hamilton scumbags seems like a foolish and petty thing to do, far from the sort of behaviour you'd expect from a worthy leadership to World cycling. It is for this very sort of thing that McQuaid should step down as it does not appear as if he wants to take cycling forward.

I can see that within professional cycling you might view Hamilton and Landis with little respect, but I actually think that there testimony, along with other riders can start to change things for cycling. If McQuaid botches this and fails to use the momentum then cycling will be mired.

USADA, by bringing Armstrong to book, have sent out a message to cheats that the will not prosper from their endeavours. If Armstrong was allowed to carry on with his charade then the message is that cheaters prosper. At least now riders who do cheat will need to do it on their own and the organisation back up under US Postal will be much harder.

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OldRidgeback [2632 posts] 3 years ago
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Al__S wrote:

Pat McQuaid is a clown. A terrorist. Like Colonel Gaddafi.

Pat McQuaid may be a fool or a clown, but he's not a murderer prepared to use instruments of terror like Gaddafi.

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livestrongnick [2118 posts] 3 years ago
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wingsofspeed68 wrote:

"Hamilton and Landis might not be heroes but at least they had some dignity left to come clean"

They didn't come clean, They got caught big time. Because no one else got caught they decided to bring cycling down with them!

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PaulVWatts [111 posts] 3 years ago
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So who should we support McQuaid the scumbag who in 1976 defied an international ban on athletes competing in South Africa for the money. Or the athletes who have helped expose the hypocrisy of the UCI and the scumbag who runs it?

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Brummmie [58 posts] 3 years ago
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Spoken like a vile and spiteful little cnut !

"He then spends the next few years trying to prove he was a twin before he was born or something like that and prove the scientific community wrong. He loses his marriage and his money."

This man get's pleasure from ruining one man, yet protects his biggest asset right to the last.

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 3 years ago
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The biggest scumbags in all this are the UCI. Festina was an opportunity to clean up the sport, but they just chose to clean up their image. Lance Armstrong, as an English speaker returning from illness, was the ideal poster boy for this project. I agree with just about everything that Landis is not allowed to say and more besides!

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antonio [1126 posts] 3 years ago
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Why wasn't he pressed on the fact that he personally spoke to Lance outlining the action forthcoming on the Friday before the official UCI statement on the Monday. 'Sorry Lance but we'll try to mitigate by calling those who ratted Scum Bags'.

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jova54 [659 posts] 3 years ago
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Looks like Pat has finally found his balls. Someone must have told him where Lance left the jar with them in.

You know what they say, "The best form of defence is attack". McQuaid knows he's in for a kicking and he's trying to get his revenge in first.

Hopefully this will be the last hurrah for a man on his way out and who is despised even more than his predecessor because he knew what was going on and ignored the chance to put it right because it would have derailled his gravy train.

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Jimmy Ray Will [483 posts] 3 years ago
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I have to say that whilst in general I'm no Pat fan, he is right on this occasion. Hamilton and Landis are scumbags.
Think it through, Hamilton didn't lose his wife and cash fighting the UCI trying to expose the drugs in the sport, he was trying to clear his name.
Once that failed him and Landis did the honourable thing of saying 'well, if I can't play anymore, no one else is going to play either, I'm taking you all with me'. It's the same as a jealous ex throwing acid in the face of his old lover to spoil it for everyone.
These pair were not victims of the doping culture, they were key players... Have no sympathy for them.

Now that said, Pandoras box has been opened, and the future could be brighter because of it... And that's is in part thanks to these spiteful mens attempts to destroy the sport.

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Alb [130 posts] 3 years ago
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How is this plonker still in charge?  20

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Campag_10 [153 posts] 3 years ago
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I don't have any sympathy for Landis, Hamilton or McQuaid.

However, as president of a major sport, McQuaid should 100% consistent about wanting the sport he governs to be clean. McQuaid does himself and UCI no favours by defaming Landis and Hamilton – it's unprofessional, bitter and harmful to his and the sport's reputation.

The Armstrong donations to UCI reflect badly and are indefensible. There's plenty of circumstantial evidence to suggest that UCI has been happy to accommodate the dopers – this is a tipping point in the sport and all we are seeing is the vested interests rallying round to keep their snouts in the trough.

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Stumps [3354 posts] 3 years ago
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He is quite quickly turning himself into a laughing stock. He has no idea what he is doing or how to get himself out of it, it's great reading and within 6 months he wont be in charge.

The rest of the UCI will start to feel the pressure building and as captain of the ship he will go down.  4

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OldRidgeback [2632 posts] 3 years ago
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stumps wrote:

He is quite quickly turning himself into a laughing stock. He has no idea what he is doing or how to get himself out of it, it's great reading and within 6 months he wont be in charge.

The rest of the UCI will start to feel the pressure building and as captain of the ship he will go down.  4

I think he does have an idea of what he should have done and how he can argue his case, but I agree he's not really up to the job and his comments on other issues have showed his ignorance and unsuitability for the post.

I think this whole mess with Landis and Armstrong is all rather sad. At least Landis showed some decency in admitting what had gone on.

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Pedals [36 posts] 3 years ago
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McQuaid is such a plonker! He should be embarsessed by more than half the things he comes out with! The bloke is supposed to be a representative of the sport to the world which he fails miserably at! He should be spouting words of positivity and how to move forward and learn from the past!
But all he's bothered about is bad mouthing anyone thats said a bad word about the UCI or anyone that spoke out about doping in the past!
He's like a spoilt child whos had his dummy taken away!
Grow-Up Man for christs sake!

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James Warrener [1083 posts] 3 years ago
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Bye Pat.

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jarderich [94 posts] 3 years ago
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To quote the late Mike Reid:
"oh Pat - what have you done?"

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Edgeley [374 posts] 3 years ago
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Even if the most sensible approach for the UCI and cycling was for McQuaid to tough it out, he is going about it in a spectacularly incompletent way. The last thing he should be doing is highlight his opposition to the people who dragged the truth into the light. Even if he thinks it, he should have the gravitas to hide his thoughts.

The man is not fit to be the leader of a kindergarten, let alone a major governing body.

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pmanc [203 posts] 3 years ago
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His overconfident slightly bullyboy attitude is almost reminiscent of Armstrong himself, carrying on regardless and trying to bluster it out.

Armstrong's problem is that, unlike Hamilton, Landis, etc, even if he does now fess up, everybody already knows now, so it's a meaningless gesture.

I wonder if McQuaid will have the wisdom and the dignity to show some remorse about the conduct of the UCI while it still counts for something? Doesn't look like it...

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SounDaz_7 [48 posts] 3 years ago
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Come in McQuaid, your time is up!

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handlebarcam [716 posts] 3 years ago
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Dear Road.cc, please, please, please could you fix it for me to... No, I'll start again. Please could you stop using such high quality photographs of Pat McQuaid to head these UCI stories? I clicked on the link to this one, saw the picture, and did this (no, that scene was not immediately following the Armstrong cameo.) Perhaps you could find an archive shot of him in the middle distance, or perhaps with a bag over his head?

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 3 years ago
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I would have bet money on Hein being expected to fall on his sword over this one. Instead Pat lays the blame for cycling's poor image squarely where it belongs. Obviously Landis and Hamilton were never taught the two most important things in life;
"Never rat on your friends, and always keep your mouth shut"
Jimmy Conway, Goodfellas.

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BigDummy [314 posts] 3 years ago
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If the UCI had successfully fostered a culture in which people who hadn't been busted for drugs blew the whistle, confident they would be supported then I'd have some sympathy for sounding off about the failings of people who only came clean when they were busted.

His statements basically sound like a defence of omerta. Plenty of people will come out with that line. I don't need any of them to be running the UCI.

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BigBear63 [80 posts] 3 years ago
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Quote:

"Another thing that annoys me is that Landis and Hamilton are being made out to be heroes. They are as far from heroes as night and day. They are not heroes. They are scumbags. All they have done is damage to the sport.”

This sort of response is typical of many people in positions of power. Landis and Hamilton are whistleblowers and as such should be supported for their actions. Heroes is not how I'd describe them as there are many reasons other than doing the right thing for blowing the whistle. That said, without them Armstrong would never have been caught and Cycling would not be able to move on.
I am sure there are a few more cases to be revealed but I only hope we've seen an end to the serious damage these cheats have done to a great sport that we all love.

My generation, who grew up admiring the likes of Eddie Merckx, et Al, will never look at cycling in the same way ever again which is very very sad indeed. Armstrong is just the last big name in a list that should probably include most TdF winners going back many decades. I don't include Contador as I do believe him and watching his performance in the Vuelta I believe I am right to do so. It may be my resistance to be totally forlorn about the sport but I just can't go that far and still support it. I still believe he was right to be banned though I believe his case highlights the UCI's complicity in the whole drugs issue when they gave him ban that still allowed him to race in his home stage race. Bans should start from the time all appeals have ended and not be back dated to the start of a suspension.

Sadly, the taint of drugs will fall on everyone in the sport, especially those who excel beyond belief and that is terribly unfair.

McQuaide is severly discredited and needs to hand over to someone with a proven clean record and who can be trusted by sponsors and competitors alike.

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