Greg Lemond to Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen: "You are the corruption in the sport"

America's only Tour de France winner doesn't mince his words with a full frontal attack on cycling's governing body

by Dave Atkinson   October 25, 2012  

Greg Lemond gives Lance the big stare

Greg Lemond, the man who after Lance Armstrong's removal from the palmares remains the USA's only Tour de France winner, launched a blistering attack on the UCI, specifically aimed at incumbent president Pat McQuaid and honorary president Hein Verbruggen.

The former rider, who was targeted by Lance Armstrong and dropped from the Trek umbrella in the years after he questioned the Texan's rise to prominence after his battle with cancer, said that he had "never seen such an abuse of power in cycling's history" and called for the two figureheads of the UCI to step down, if they love cycling. He also called for Paul Kimmage to use his defense fund – which shot up to nearly $73,000 overnight – to not fight the UCI lawsuit, which he described as "bogus", but to lobby for real change in cycling.

It certainly goes to show that there's still some very strong feelings about McQuaid and Verbruggen's leadership of a sport that effectively went to pieces under their watch. Although McQuaid has insisted that "When I started as UCI president I made the fight against doping my priority", Lemond clearly doesn't think that the drugs are the nub of the issue: "The problem for sport is not drugs but corruption. You are the epitome of the word corruption."

That's the kind of talk that normally has Pat and Hein hailing a taxi to the Vevey district court, so we'll see what happens in this case. Not that it seems that Lemond would necessarily contest, or care about, any lawsuit that they might attempt to bring to his door, given his clear feelings about the one currently ongoing against Kimmage.

Lemond's parting shot is a call for the sport to barnkrupt the UCI: "If people really want to clean the sport of cycling up all you have to do is put your money where your mouth is. Don't buy a USA Cycling license. Give up racing for a year, just long enough to put the UCI and USA cycling out of business. We can then start from scratch and let the real lovers in cycling direct where and how the sport of cycling will go," he concludes. Although it would probably take more of a worldwide movement than just an American veto to seriously affect the UCI's coffers, Lemond is clear that now is the time for action: "The sport does not need Pat McQuaid or Hein Verbruggen- if this sport is going to change it is now. Not next year, not down the road, now! Now or never!"

Here's the full text of the letter, which can also be found on Greg Lemond's facebook page

Can anyone help me out? I know this sounds kind of lame but I am not well versed in social marketing. I would like to send a message to everyone that really loves cycling. I do not use twitter and do not have an organized way of getting some of my own "rage" out. I want to tell the world of cycling to please join me in telling Pat McQuaid to f##k off and resign. I have never seen such an abuse of power in cycling's history- resign Pat if you love cycling. Resign even if you hate the sport.

Pat McQuaid, you know damn well what has been going on in cycling, and if you want to deny it, then even more reasons why those who love cycling need to demand that you resign.

I have a file with what I believe is well documented proof that will exonerate Paul.

Pat in my opinion you and Hein are the corrupt part of the sport. I do not want to include everyone at the UCI because I believe that there are many, maybe most that work at the UCI that are dedicated to cycling, they do it out of the love of the sport, but you and your buddy Hein have destroyed the sport.

Pat, I thought you loved cycling? At one time you did and if you did love cycling please dig deep inside and remember that part of your life- allow cycling to grow and flourish- please! It is time to walk away. Walk away if you love cycling.

As a reminder I just want to point out that recently you accused me of being the cause of USADA's investigation against Lance Armstrong. Why would you be inclined to go straight to me as the "cause"? Why shoot the messenger every time?

Every time you do this I get more and more entrenched. I was in your country over the last two weeks and I asked someone that knows you if you were someone that could be rehabilitated. His answer was very quick and it was not good for you. No was the answer, no, no , no!

The problem for sport is not drugs but corruption. You are the epitome of the word corruption.

You can read all about Webster's definition of corruption. If you want I can re-post my attorney's response to your letter where you threaten to sue me for calling the UCI corrupt. FYI I want to officially reiterate to you and Hein that in my opinion the two of your represent the essence of corruption.

I would encourage anyone that loves cycling to donate and support Paul in his fight against the Pat and Hein and the UCI. Skip lunch and donate the amount that you would have spent towards that Sunday buffet towards changing the sport of cycling.

I donated money for Paul's defense, and I am willing to donate a lot more, but I would like to use it to lobby for dramatic change in cycling. The sport does not need Pat McQuaid or Hein Verbruggen- if this sport is going to change it is now. Not next year, not down the road, now! Now or never!

People that really care about cycling have the power to change cycling- change it now by voicing your thought and donating money towards Paul Kimmage's defense, (Paul, I want to encourage you to not spend the money that has been donated to your defense fund on defending yourself in Switzerland. In my case, a USA citizen, I could care less if I lost the UCI's bogus lawsuit. Use the money to lobby for real change).

If people really want to clean the sport of cycling up all you have to do is put your money where your mouth is.

Don't buy a USA Cycling license. Give up racing for a year, just long enough to put the UCI and USA cycling out of business. We can then start from scratch and let the real lovers in cycling direct where and how the sport of cycling will go.

Please make a difference.
Greg

39 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

Surely the solution is in the hands of the national governing bodies? They should coordinate their actions and collectively demand the resignation of the appropriate people within the UCI.

If the UCI fails to respond, the nation governing bodies simply withdraw, on mass, from being under the authority of the UCI and set up their own new world governing body. The UCI only exists because the national bodies voluntarily submit to its jurisdiction.

All withdraw, end of UCI.

posted by chrismday [49 posts]
25th October 2012 - 10:55

like this
Like (2)

Dave Atkinson wrote:
mcj78 wrote:
Wonder what Lemond bikes would look like if Trek hadn't dropped the brand after Greg spoke out against Armstrong - he was sticking discs on mainstream CX bikes in 2006 & wasn't the asymetrical chainstay idea first popularised on Lemond road frames too? Thinking

don't forget that although lemond turned out to be right and people are on record as saying that lance was trying to 'shut him up' and that he had trek's ear, that's not the whole story of why trek fell out with lemond.

here's a Trek ppt presentation from 2008 that The Race Radio got hold of...

http://www.scribd.com/doc/110369047/Trek-Ppt-Final

Great post Dave - not seen that before. It reads a little differently in light of recent events, particularly Trek's latest statement about being lied to for over a decade...

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2890 posts]
25th October 2012 - 11:23

like this
Like (2)

yeah, hindsight is always 20/20 eh Thinking

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7234 posts]
25th October 2012 - 11:24

like this
Like (4)

McQuaid is up for re-election soon. Anyone know exactly when?

posted by izzi green [12 posts]
25th October 2012 - 11:51

like this
Like (2)

I suggest Greg Lemond for Pat's old job. Anyone second that?

Gasman Jim's picture

posted by Gasman Jim [50 posts]
25th October 2012 - 11:52

like this
Like (6)

I am really not interested in the Lemond Trek spat, well I am a little. There does seem to be a kind of commercial imposed omerta implied (although I would accept Trek main thesis that Lemond is acting in a commercially naive way) influenced by sales figures. Which could lead one to conclude that those calling for a pro league like Jonathan Vaughters might have some issues to address to convince us that it is viable and maintain a clean sport. In would be possible to create a clean league but only with significant checks built into it & openness in particular. Yet such checks could then impose on any leagues commercial viability, particular were the motive is to extract as much as possible from the commercial potential of cycling and pay is determined by performance.

Anyway that was not my intended point I was going to say Lemond has a point. The only voice cyclist have regarding the UCI is through their national associations and not renewing a licence may unfortunately be the only democratic means they have of instructing an association to act.

There are other associations. OK that will mean they will not be able to race or not in UCI recognised races. However, one would hope that national association would not allow thing to go that far and would act regarding the leadership of the UCI and possibly it's overall structure as well.

THE ONLY WAY IS BIKE

posted by lushmiester [156 posts]
25th October 2012 - 12:28

like this
Like (2)

This will not end well for someone. I do hope he's not bluffing re. 'the file'.

andyspaceman's picture

posted by andyspaceman [211 posts]
25th October 2012 - 12:41

like this
Like (3)

Emailed BC asking how much of my Race License and Membership goes to supporting the UCI. Informed them I won't be renewing unless I see BC pushing for change and nothing goes to the UCI, or the UCI is forced to change. Thank-you Mr Lemond for pointing the way. I won't fund corruption, cheating and incompetence out of choice.

Only one member. But I have a wallet.
There are lots of members. And they all have.........

Looking forward to a pressure free season next year. Plenty of fun to be had on 2 wheels without racing Smile.

posted by jackcat [1 posts]
25th October 2012 - 13:30

like this
Like (2)

izzi green wrote:
McQuaid is up for re-election soon. Anyone know exactly when?

Next year. Read this:

http://inrng.com/2012/09/how-to-replace-pat-mcquaid/

posted by drheaton [3429 posts]
25th October 2012 - 13:39

like this
Like (3)

Good for you! But, unfortunately, BC's voice is no louder than a mousefart as far as the UCI is concerned. Someone, please tell me I'm wrong.

posted by izzi green [12 posts]
25th October 2012 - 13:43

like this
Like (2)

drheaton wrote:
izzi green wrote:
McQuaid is up for re-election soon. Anyone know exactly when?

Next year. Read this:

http://inrng.com/2012/09/how-to-replace-pat-mcquaid/

Many thanks.

posted by izzi green [12 posts]
25th October 2012 - 13:44

like this
Like (4)

izzi green wrote:
Good for you! But, unfortunately, BC's voice is no louder than a mousefart as far as the UCI is concerned. Someone, please tell me I'm wrong.

As it stands, you're probably right. But if everyone who wants to see dope free cycle sport, administered by a bribe free governing body, were to raise their voices at the same time, the noise would be much louder. The worst thing that could happen now would be for this latest scandal to bring about nothing more than another false dawn.

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
25th October 2012 - 14:03

like this
Like (1)

Did Lemond just whack his todger onto the chopping block and dare Pat to go for the cleaver?

posted by Matt_S [182 posts]
25th October 2012 - 14:07

like this
Like (3)

The UCI comes accross as a corrput, officious organisation run primarily for the interests of the people in the UCI with the sport they govern coming second and maybe not even that high.

The fact they can't see it but everyone else has for years indicates that they're no longer fit to govern and a new forward thinking organisation with no attachements (read 'old boys') is required.

posted by kitkat [187 posts]
25th October 2012 - 14:12

like this
Like (2)

Yup. Cool Dude won the Tour with shotgun pellets lodged in his back and around his heart. He then called out the Chosen One and refused to retract his statements even though public perception was that he was just being a bitter old jerk. This is just the way Greg is. A champion in every sense of the word.

posted by TheBigMong [218 posts]
25th October 2012 - 14:16

like this
Like (3)

Surprised to see no British delegate among the 14 European UCI voting members - obviously not down to lack of British interest/success in cycling...it appears all delegates are elected by 150 'senior officials' from national federations, but not clear on what basis they are selected. Clearly not down to success or volume of cyclists, by the look of it.

posted by LegsDontFailMeNow [6 posts]
25th October 2012 - 15:09

like this
Like (4)

There's some passion in there - thankyou Greg.

All - abandon the UCI and set up a not for profit association/league with respected administrators. Go have a look at the AFL in Australia, it's working, minimal drugs in pro aus footy ranks because they have a good anti drugs program.

And is anyone setting up the break away Cycling World Series once proposed by J Vaughters? Set the format and the rules very clear and get the grand tours and classics to join as feature events.

Spread the TV Rights money to the riders who earn bugger all (that's why they dope to get to the top) to support their families properly. Then put the rest into local associations and junior programs to educate people about cycling responsibly.

posted by Damon_11 [29 posts]
25th October 2012 - 15:17

like this
Like (3)

Brian Cookson is President of the Road Commission at the UCI, and sits on the management committee. So what's happening is right at the heart of his area of responsibility, and he's also sitting on the top table. Cannot say this too strongly: LOBBY COOKSON!

http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/road/article/roa20110922-about-bc-news-...

posted by Sam1 [212 posts]
25th October 2012 - 15:38

like this
Like (3)

kitkat wrote:
The UCI comes accross as a corrput, officious organisation run primarily for the interests of the people in the UCI with the sport they govern coming second and maybe not even that high.

The fact they can't see it but everyone else has for years indicates that they're no longer fit to govern and a new forward thinking organisation with no attachements (read 'old boys') is required.

Agreed. Sadly this applies to many other organisations too, particularly the one which oversees a huge sporting event held every four years.

posted by Sadly Biggins [261 posts]
25th October 2012 - 15:39

like this
Like (0)

I admire Lemond for the way he stood out from the adulating crowd, a lone voice against corruption, a man brave enough to provide the sums that said power outputs could not be met without 'assistance' and brave enough to be ridiculed for his convictions, as previously stated, he's the man for the job, head of UCI.

antonio

antonio's picture

posted by antonio [923 posts]
25th October 2012 - 15:55

like this
Like (0)

@Dave A

Will Trek now be looking for an all American hero who won the Tour to build a brand around?

Wouldn't surprise me.

_SiD_'s picture

posted by _SiD_ [179 posts]
25th October 2012 - 15:59

like this
Like (1)

Chapeau Greg. Time to lobby 'our Brian.' Have seen sweet FA from the BC in the last 3 weeks in terms of opinion. Sitting on 2stools at once can't be good for Cookson. More a disappointment than a surprise. Switzerland must look a bit more flash than Start St. Manchester....

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1013 posts]
26th October 2012 - 0:13

like this
Like (2)

Sam1 wrote:
Brian Cookson is President of the Road Commission at the UCI...

Maybe he's taking his lead from Pat. After all, McQuaid himself chaired the road commission during the Armstrong years, which gave his protestations that it didn't happen on his watch as UCI president a rather hollow ring...

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [7847 posts]
26th October 2012 - 0:42

like this
Like (1)

Good man Greg. He's spoken out about this for a long time, taken a lot of flak but he's vindicated now. The UCI needs culling.

posted by Simmo72 [264 posts]
26th October 2012 - 11:56

like this
Like (1)

Hadn't seen that before, cheers Dave - so Lemond effectively cut his own throat by refusing to shut up about Armstrong's doping, irrespective of the fact it was killing sales of his bikes - wonder if the brand could make a recovery now, could have model names like "Integrity", the "Told You" & the "F*ck you all, I was right all along" Big Grin

posted by mcj78 [21 posts]
26th October 2012 - 13:26

like this
Like (2)

Agreed. Already with CTC for 3rd party too. The Irish Cycling Union planning a vote of no confidence in UCI, the Dutch also - yes, time for us to follow suit. As far as I can see the UCI exists to self-serve and does nothing to benefit or grow the sport from the grass-roots up.

posted by Bird On A Bike [8 posts]
26th October 2012 - 17:38

like this
Like (2)

theendinfrench wrote:
Greg for President! (of the world)

I couldn't agree more, anybody that remembers Greg from his racing days knows that he laid everything on the line to win (but not at any cost). Maquaid needs to go, release the hounds....

Currently going slower than I'd like...

posted by stealth [169 posts]
26th October 2012 - 20:17

like this
Like (1)

I've been a CTC member for a couple of years since I gave up racing. Funnily enough, I received an email from BC asking if I'd like to be a member again... I think not.
Its time for the pro and continental teams to with-hold their fees and for ASO, Unipublic and the other race owners to cast a vote of no confidence in the UCI and refuse to accept their involvement in their races. The UCI has to be hit financially in order to force change.

posted by petejuk [25 posts]
26th October 2012 - 22:44

like this
Like (0)

Ok, this is one of the best articles on road.cc for a while; So for chaps like myself who bought the bullshit from him who shalt not be named -I'd like to know more about Greg 'balls of tungsten' LeMond's racing career and life. If there's any body out there who can provide a good link to a retrospective article (or whether a journo from road.cc could write one - please). I like this guys attitude and obvious love for his sport - he deserves praise for calling mcquaid and the UCI out. They are a crock of shite.

question : anybody else burned or binned the books from him who shalt not be named.

To slo to live, to slo to die! ::-}

posted by OldnSlo [122 posts]
27th October 2012 - 8:52

like this
Like (1)

OldnSlo wrote:
Question : anybody else burned or binned the books from him who shalt not be named.

Perhaps I'll give mine to the charity shop. But I like to listen to Audio books and have the opportunity to download free-of-charge Bruyneel and Armstrong's book 'We might as well win.'
Being a former LA fan I was undecided and put a message on our club forum asking if anyone wanted to listen to it.
Not one person has so far said they want to. Sad

K Stand Ken

posted by K Stand Ken [39 posts]
2nd November 2012 - 16:30

like this
Like (2)