McQuaid: Judge cycling by London 2012, not Lance Armstrong

UCI chairman also slams Change Cycling Now pressure group

by Simon_MacMichael   December 14, 2012  

Pat McQuaid © Simon MacMichael.jpg

UCI president Pat McQuaid insists that cycling should be judged by the success of London 2012 and not by the fallout of the Lance Armstrong scandal, which has dominated headlines about the sport since the Olympics. The Irishman, who has headed world cycling’s governing body since succeeding Hein Verbruggen in 2005, also hit out at pressure group Change Cycling Now, who have called for his resignation.

Reflecting on the past year in an interview with Reuters at UCI headquarters in Aigle, Switzerland, McQuaid insisted that the events that led to Armstrong receiving a life ban and being stripped of results including the seven Tour de France titles he won between 1999 and 2005 belonged in the past.

"It deals with a period between 1999 and 2005 when most people now realise that the armoury in the fight against doping was much weaker than it is today," he maintained. "Those guys were able to cheat and beat the system at that time because the system wasn't strong enough.”

In the press conference in October when the UCI revealed it had ratified the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s Reasoned Decision in the Armstrong case, McQuaid was asked why he was focusing only on the period up until 2005 when USADA had made clear that it had found evidence of his having doped after his return to the sport in 2009.

At that time, McQuaid said, "I don't accept the findings in 2009 and 2010," although the UCI itself has come under criticism for permitting Armstrong to return at the 2009 Tour Down Under when he hadn’t been part of its biological passport programme for the minimum six months required by the UCI’s own statutes.

In the Reuters interview published this morning, however, McQuaid, who had also said that the ongoing Padua investigation in Italy only concerned “Older cyclists – riders whose careers are already over” insisted that the sport had now been reformed.

"Now we have the biological passport, where we do 10,000 tests a year at a cost of €7.5 million,” he explained. "We invest in anti-doping and we have the no-needle policy I introduced, which means no teams or doctors are allowed to use needles except for medical necessity.

"We've also introduced a rule whereby any cyclist convicted of doping in a team can never come back into sport as part of the entourage," he added.

"That will take time to come through, but it means in 10 or 15 years time, that no entourage will have a member of a team who was involved in doping."

He also rejected claims that the commission ordered by the UCI to examine its own role in the events that formed the background to the US Postal investigation wasn’t truly independent.

"A lot of our critics said it wouldn't be independent and I think we've proven them wrong," he maintained.

"I think this commission is probably the most independent high-powered commission ever to study a sport's problem and I think they'll do a very good job on it.

"The commission will hopefully prove that we did do our job correctly."

Referring to Change Cycling Now, the pressure group set up by Skins chairman Jaimie Fuller which held its inaugural meeting over two days in London earlier this month with attendees including Jonathan Vaughters, Gianni Bugno, Michael Ashenden and Paul Kimmage, McQuaid said: "I have to question their motives.

"The guy in charge from Skins, he came into sponsoring cycling in 2008. For me, it's just a stunt to promote his company."

Also at that meeting in London was three time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond, who had told French newspaper Le Monde that he would be prepared to challenge McQuaid and take on the UCI presidency on an interim basis until a suitable permanent candidate could be found.

"That's not democracy,” McQuaid asserted. “We are a democracy, we have democratic structures and everybody has to work to democratic structures.

"They are coming in with a completely different thing and when you look at the group which is sitting around, CCN, they're agitators who have always been individually agitating this, that and the other.

"I have a great deal of admiration for him [LeMond] as a cyclist. But since he stopped racing, he hasn't been involved in cycling at all, apart from a few businesses, so he's not really in a position to comment on what cycling is today," McQuaid concluded.
 

13 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Nothing changes, the same old arrogance.

antonio

antonio's picture

posted by antonio [985 posts]
14th December 2012 - 21:34

3 Likes

Nice of him to claim the success of the Olympics... I think there might be some others ahead of the UCI in the credits there.

posted by AlanD [12 posts]
14th December 2012 - 22:44

3 Likes

Don't go away mad Mr. McQ, just go away..... Big Grin

Michael R. Smith

posted by American tifosi [37 posts]
15th December 2012 - 0:05

2 Likes

um VINOKOUROV ffs. (prob mis-spelled)

posted by bigant [39 posts]
15th December 2012 - 2:26

2 Likes

Every time he opens his mouth he is digging a bigger hole for himself. I just hope there are enough people with some clout to to help fill it in with him at the bottom.

posted by festival [102 posts]
15th December 2012 - 13:32

3 Likes

"Judge cycling on the Olympics, and not on my disgraceful record". Well said Pat. Now feck off.

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
15th December 2012 - 13:44

2 Likes

No, don't look over there! Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain! Look over here!

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1370 posts]
15th December 2012 - 15:12

3 Likes

Does Pat mean whistle blowers when he says agiators?

I cant see how that man can possibly remain in his job.

posted by ColinRicketts [3 posts]
15th December 2012 - 16:17

2 Likes

AlanD wrote:
Nice of him to claim the success of the Olympics... I think there might be some others ahead of the UCI in the credits there.

If you actually take the time to read the interview, all he says is that he enjoyed London 2012 and states "London is where I judge cycling to be, rather than Armstrong, because the Armstrong affair is back in the 90s." Seems a fair enough comment to me....

posted by pwake [312 posts]
15th December 2012 - 16:59

2 Likes

pwake wrote:
AlanD wrote:
Nice of him to claim the success of the Olympics... I think there might be some others ahead of the UCI in the credits there.

If you actually take the time to read the interview, all he says is that he enjoyed London 2012 and states "London is where I judge cycling to be, rather than Armstrong, because the Armstrong affair is back in the 90s." Seems a fair enough comment to me....

Fair enough? it isn't even accurate. It was in 2009 that the UCI suspended its own anti-doping rules to enable Armstrong to make his comeback. Hardly "back in the 90's" is it?

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
15th December 2012 - 17:19

4 Likes

The Rumpo Kid wrote:
"Judge cycling on the Olympics, and not on my disgraceful record". Well said Pat. Now feck off.

Couldn't have put it better myself.

'It's the closest you can get to flying'
Robin Williams response when asked why he enjoyed riding so much

posted by Simmo72 [380 posts]
15th December 2012 - 17:53

3 Likes

That's exactly what I was thinking.

posted by sponican [69 posts]
15th December 2012 - 21:45

4 Likes

bigant wrote:
um VINOKOUROV ffs. (prob mis-spelled)

That's exactly what I was thinking.

posted by sponican [69 posts]
15th December 2012 - 21:46

3 Likes