Updated: Summary of UCI corruption report leaked; Pat McQuaid denies everything

Allegations of bribery and cover-ups at very highest levels of cycling

by John Stevenson   September 10, 2013  

Pat McQuaid at the Tour Down Under (photo credit credit Santos Tour Down Under : John Veage).jpg

UCI president Pat McQuaid and his predecessor Hein Verbruggen are alleged to have been involved in corruption and attempted concealment of doping according to a document leaked to the website Velonews yesterday. In a statement issued late last night, McQuaid said “The claims ... are a complete fabrication. They are totally untrue and are not supported by a scintilla of evidence.”

The three-page document is claimed to be a summary of a 54-page report with 26 supporting documents circulated at a UCI management committee meeting held in Bergen, Norway, in June by US delegate Mike Plant.

The original report was commissioned by Russian cycling president Igor Makarov, according to an interview Plant gave to cyclingnews.com. With a net worth of almost $2 billion Makarov is believed to be the richest man in cycling. He appears to have had the UCI in his sights since his Katusha team was refused a WorldTour licence in December 2012. The team appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and gained its licence in February 2013.

The summary was written by someone who claims to have seen the full report and who “has knowledge of the individuals described” in the report.

It continues: “The release of this summary was not directed by anyone who commissioned or owns  The Report. The individual providing this information has been told that the reason the entire  Report as not been made publicly available, is because it has been turned over to law  enforcement authorities for follow·up.”

The summary’s key allegations are:

  • That in 2012 Verbruggen and McQuaid solicited “what amounted to a bribe of 250,000 euros from a named procyling team owner”.
  • When riders from another pro team tried to involve the UCI in a dispute over non-payment of salaries, the “UCI instead became involved in a corrupt relationship with the team owners and allowed the illegal non·payment of salaries to continue”.
  • When Alberto Contador failed a doping test in 2010, the “UCI tried to engage in a cover-up of the failed test in exchange for money”.
  • McQuaid set aside anti-doping rules governing eligibility of riders in order that Lance Armstrong could make a comeback at the 2009 Tour Down Under. In exchange, Armstrong agreed to ride the Tour of Ireland for free, benefiting McQuaid “because his relatives or friends were involved in directing the Tour of Ireland”.
  • Lance Armstrong’s personal lawyers wrote and edited sections of Emile Vrijman’s 2006 report into allegations that Armstrong’s 1999 urine samples showed evidence of doping.

In his statement rejecting the allegations, McQuaid said:

“The claims in this so-called dossier are a complete fabrication. They are totally untrue and are not supported by a scintilla of evidence.

“This is a scurrilous and libellous attack on my character, with a political agenda that is both nakedly transparent and totally contemptible - and unfortunately one that is completely in character with the tactics of my opponents.

“The UCI Ethics Commission have already tried to investigate the matter. The Ethics Commission asked for a copy of the dossier from Igor Makarov and Mike Plant, but both of them refused to hand it over to the Ethics Commission. That fact alone speaks volumes.”

In June, some of the report’s allegations were discussed at the UCI Management Committee meeting in Bergen, Norway, despite McQuaid attempting to block it.

At the time, his rival for the UCI presidential election later this month, British Cycling’s Brian Cookson, described the contents as “disturbing.”

The summary claims: “Mr. McQuaid said he was going to bring the allegations to the UCl's Ethics Commission for investigation.”

The summary also claims that the report has affected the previously close relationship between McQuaid and his predecessor Hein Verbruggen, now an honorary member of the International Olympic Committee. “After Mr. McQuaid read The Report in Corsica, France, he communicated with Mr. Verbruggen about the contents of The Report. ... Mr. Verbruggen then contacted several of the witnesses in The Report in an  apparent effort to distance himself from Mr. McQuaid.”

Pat McQuaid is standing for reelection as UCI president on September 27. He is opposed by British Cycling president Brian Cookson who is supported by Igor Makarov.

Cookson responds

Brian Cookson has issued a statement that confirms these allegations are similar to those contained in the report previously seen by the UCI management committee. 

Cookson said: “These allegations, which appear to be similar to those made to the UCI Management Committee in June, are clearly very serious.  For the good of the UCI and cycling, they should be immediately and thoroughly investigated by the relevant authorities. I hope that this matter can be fully resolved before the UCI congress on 27 September.

“For my part, I remain totally committed to a democratic election under the Constitution of the UCI and will continue to talk and listen to national federations and voting delegates on how, together, we can grow cycling globally and restore faith and trust in our sport."

26 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

As much as i hate McQuaid with a passion, until the dossier is made public then its all just quess work.

I hope it is all true and he not only loses his position but also goes to prison.

He is not a nice person and coming out to blame Cookson for the report beggars belief - "and unfortunately one that is completely in character with the tactics of my opponents."

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2810 posts]
10th September 2013 - 8:14

16 Likes

So . . What do we know about Ivor Makarov?

Sudor

posted by Sudor [182 posts]
10th September 2013 - 8:18

11 Likes

Wow. Just Wow. If there is anything more than a scintilla of evidence then this guy deserves more than just being out-voted.

Now, who has the best prison system? Malaysia, Thailand or Morocco? I vote Thailand.

arrieredupeleton

posted by arrieredupeleton [563 posts]
10th September 2013 - 8:24

13 Likes

Sudor wrote:
So . . What do we know about Ivor Makarov?

This, for a start: http://inrng.com/2012/02/makarov-uci-jetset/

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [8292 posts]
10th September 2013 - 9:21

13 Likes

Well, Pat ... you did piss off a billionaire. A Russian one at that.

I mean, seriously, when his team's motto is something like: "Katyusha is ready and willing to fight". What did this lunatic expect to happen?

posted by Not KOM [79 posts]
10th September 2013 - 9:22

11 Likes

stumps wrote:
As much as i hate McQuaid with a passion, until the dossier is made public then its all just quess work.

I hope it is all true and he not only loses his position but also goes to prison.

He is not a nice person and coming out to blame Cookson for the report beggars belief - "and unfortunately one that is completely in character with the tactics of my opponents."

The dossier in its fullness will come out, this is just the hors d'oeuvres. The UCI Congress presidential election is precisely 15 days from today. This is all part of a timed plan.

posted by Sim1 [57 posts]
10th September 2013 - 9:29

13 Likes

Can someone tell me what the solution to the whole doping problem historically in cycling was?

There was a scenario where their was widespread systematic doping across the full sport for many years that was pretty undetectable until it reached epidemic portions - rightly or wrongly if on discovery of the majority the sports major stars and teams and also minor stars doping the UCI had blown the cover on it - there would be no procycling left and certainly not to the commercial levels that we know it today.

Whether their has been any further undignified behavior happening and whether I particularly like PMQ or not, who ever was in that position within the sport had to perform miracles in damage limitation to preserve the sport

we have seen that in the Operation Puerto case where the spanish government in has most likely stepped in to protect the intergrity of all the other sports implicated, i.e. football, tennis etc

Most governing bodys has performed the same damage limitation methods in there sport at one occassion or another and their is a large possiblility its going on now, though the public still want cycling to oust their cheats whilst loosing sponsors hand over fist - I think this is something that needs to be considered in the next term by the UCI president and if BC wants to lay everything out then he is obviously the wrong man for the job!

posted by doc_davo [18 posts]
10th September 2013 - 10:22

15 Likes

Exactly - this is a grenade that they put under Pat's chair back when they unveiled it in Norway a month ago. Cookson's team has always known it would come down to a sh*tfight, given Phat's previous record, so they have always planned to pull the pin out with enough time before the election for a media frenzy to build, and put Phat on the back foot for the next 2 weeks answering very tricky and damaging questions from the worlds top media. You have to admire Phat's sheer chutzpah though - his argument that without him sitting in the IOC the sport of cycling would lose influence and credibility is a doozy, coming from a guy who is a global laughing stock and barred from Olympic events by the IOC itself. Marvellous!

GrouchoBlondini's picture

posted by GrouchoBlondini [4 posts]
10th September 2013 - 10:23

18 Likes

Been waiting for this to come out, but I figured the allegations would be ones we already knew about, nicely summarised, so I'm surprised to see some of these.

Regarding the 250k bribe that a pro team 'declined' to pay - I wonder who? A first thought would be Katusha - remember how they suddenly didn't have a worldtour place for this year? - but that raises another question: If it was Katusha, and the removal of the worldtour license was a consequence of not paying the bribe, why would Igor Makarov not simply have blown the lid on the whole thing and told us this already? Is there a mutual skeleton hiding in a closet somewhere?

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3354 posts]
10th September 2013 - 10:37

12 Likes

i take the opposite view. If cycling just keeps saying "everything is okay now" as PMQ has done for years, then the smell of cheating will never dissipate and all TdF winners will forever be questioned about doping. Cycling needs to take a big bath, get it all out in the open, have the Truth&Reconciliation committee, double the penalties for doping, outsource the dope testing and do all of the above visibly, openly and in conjunction with WADA, so that Cycling gets its long lost credibility back. It's the only way out of the current mess.

GrouchoBlondini's picture

posted by GrouchoBlondini [4 posts]
10th September 2013 - 10:41

12 Likes

Doc Davo, I think you miss the point though.

It's one thing turning a blind eye to positives, missed tests or other evidence of doping on the misapprehension it is in the best interest of the sport; it is quite another to make personal financial gain from your position of authority and that is what is alleged. I assume it would be personal gain as it would be impossible to account for such monies legitimately. Bearing in mind the sysmex machine that appeared by magic, I doubt even Pat and Hein would try a trick again. It's more likely Pat shares an accountant with Harry Redknapp - does he have a dog?

arrieredupeleton

posted by arrieredupeleton [563 posts]
10th September 2013 - 10:49

11 Likes

Is a 'scintilla of evidence' more or less than a 'shred of evidence'?

"Can someone tell me what the solution to the whole doping problem historically in cycling was?"

But what has changed with regard to doping is the 'Blood Passport', by testing an athlete regularly and checking its composition of young and old cells it is possible to assess whether the blood has been chemically manipulated.
It is still possible to artificially manipulate your blood composition, but only to cause the body to increase its red blood cell count by living at altitude or sleeping in a low oxygen tent. This would provide a different blood composition than if you transfused your own blood (lots of old cells) or took EPO etc (lots of young cells). Also, out of competition testing, (done properly!) and putting a 'tracer'(something that can be tested for) in prescription medication (like EPO) is also helping.
Tyler Hamilton's book explains in detail how the science of testing was well behind the science of doping for years.
Reading that one tester used to ring the athletes the night before the 'surprise' tests (to make sure they were in!) gives you an idea what was going wrong!

posted by SideBurn [838 posts]
10th September 2013 - 10:50

15 Likes

posted by Dog72 [108 posts]
10th September 2013 - 10:56

9 Likes

Hopefully Pat the Prat will eventually go down. But when he does - boy the Sh##t's really gonna hit the fan.

posted by jarderich [85 posts]
10th September 2013 - 11:25

10 Likes

i dont know why PMQ is bothering to still fight, surely he must have enough stashed away in a slush fund to retire to a big estate in the country of his choice.

the sooner he is gone the better and if he ended in in the clink I doubt may should shed a tear

posted by mrchrispy [306 posts]
10th September 2013 - 11:29

10 Likes

mrchrispy wrote:
i dont know why PMQ is bothering to still fight, surely he must have enough stashed away in a slush fund to retire to a big estate in the country of his choice.

the sooner he is gone the better and if he ended in in the clink I doubt may should shed a tear

The standard response from dopers is to deny, deny, deny. Unless someone puts up irrefutable evidence (which PMQ cannot contest) then there is little people can do to make the mud stick. The problem for PMQ is that if you throw enough of it, eventually it does.....a la Lance Armstrong.

I agree that the problem for cycling is that it cannot insist that everything has been wiped clean following Armstrong. I think it is better that they educate people as to what the problems are and how this effects every sport. I think that when people look carefully at their heroes they'll find that they are as human as anyone else, and especially cyclists.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1175 posts]
10th September 2013 - 11:54

12 Likes

GrouchoBlondini wrote:
...... - his argument that without him sitting in the IOC the sport of cycling would lose influence and credibility is a doozy, coming from a guy who is a global laughing stock and barred from Olympic events by the IOC itself. Marvellous!

Barred from Olympic events - really? What's the story behind that?

posted by AWP [79 posts]
10th September 2013 - 11:54

9 Likes

AWP wrote:
Barred from Olympic events - really? What's the story behind that?

He tried racing under a false identity in South Africa during apartheid.

posted by Mayhem SWE [11 posts]
10th September 2013 - 12:21

11 Likes

AWP wrote:
GrouchoBlondini wrote:
...... - his argument that without him sitting in the IOC the sport of cycling would lose influence and credibility is a doozy, coming from a guy who is a global laughing stock and barred from Olympic events by the IOC itself. Marvellous!

Barred from Olympic events - really? What's the story behind that?

Here's the story:

http://www.podiumcafe.com/2010/12/1/1849367/blacklegs-in-south-africa

posted by Sim1 [57 posts]
10th September 2013 - 13:08

9 Likes

Sim1 wrote:
AWP wrote:
GrouchoBlondini wrote:
...... - his argument that without him sitting in the IOC the sport of cycling would lose influence and credibility is a doozy, coming from a guy who is a global laughing stock and barred from Olympic events by the IOC itself. Marvellous!

Barred from Olympic events - really? What's the story behind that?

Here's the story:

http://www.podiumcafe.com/2010/12/1/1849367/blacklegs-in-south-africa

You couldn't write fiction any better! In some sadistic way the guy should have his life story made into a film.

posted by AWP [79 posts]
10th September 2013 - 13:48

8 Likes

The final sentence of that article says so much about the way things are run at the top, and not just sport: "He may be banned from ever competing in the Olympics, but that's no impediment to him helping to run the Games."

posted by Ad Hynkel [50 posts]
10th September 2013 - 13:55

7 Likes

What is it with you people, he will get voted back into the job by the same sort of people who live of the sport as officials. It's just like any other sports governing body, favors, back scratching, snouts in the trough and all the other things that keep appearing in others sports. Remember those that vote are not all going to be people who give s..t about cycling, they will care about 5 star hotels at the Olympics though. Get used to it, the UCI is not as bad as FIFA.

I'd love to be completely wrong.

mt

posted by timothy [32 posts]
10th September 2013 - 15:01

4 Likes

> and putting a 'tracer'(something that can be tested for) in prescription medication (like EPO) is also helping.

Is this being done? It's an obvious solution (a fat soluble tracer would stay in the body's fat with a long half life), but I suspect Tour of California sponsor AMGEN is not promoting or practicing it.

Charlie Horse

posted by ch [102 posts]
10th September 2013 - 17:09

4 Likes

ch wrote:

Is this being done?

Not that I'm aware of. As I understand it, the combination of drug & tracer would require regulatory approval and no pharma company's going to jump that hoop to stop a few idiot athletes misusing their product.

John Stevenson's picture

posted by John Stevenson [1148 posts]
10th September 2013 - 23:42

7 Likes

THIS FARCE has become so convoluted that i have done a blog covering many of the recent shenanigans :

www.tourdafarce.blogspot.com

Gathering a few of the threads together , but add your comments with further links PLEASE !

In addition i have written Brian Cookson asking him to answer Tweets sent the 3rd Sept 2013 , which asked for his answer to the " Prowomen's blog . The letter :

" Please take a look at this blog :

www.tourdafarce.blogspot.com

Then perhaps your staff can find a reason that these tweets went unanswered ?

skippy mc carthy ‏@skippydetour2 Sep
@cooksonforuci @jaimiefuller Please address some of these questions for CREDIBILITY's sake ! http://prowomenscycling.com/2013/06/05/questions-id-like-the-uci-preside... … … pic.twitter.com/TSBB4ykwo4

skippy mc carthy ‏@skippydetour3 Sep
@cyclingtips @jaimiefuller @cooksonforuci TOO kind, whatabout mc quaid's1/4Mil wasted on UCIIC? TIME both addressed http://prowomenscycling.com/2013/06/05/questions-id-like-the-uci-preside...

YES , we are ALL busy , but that " Prowomen's blog " , COULD give you a platform to silence so many malcontents on the Cyclingnews Forum " Clinic ",

http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showthread.php?t=20768&page=12 latest page of 30 items

Still of the Firm belief that both you & phat the rat , need to stand aside and ask the UCI Congress to elect a person that DOES NOT WANT the Job AND has been on the UCI Management Board for such a short time , that they do NOT owe favour !

@GaudryT , as a woman , would send a CLEAR & Unambigous message that UCI Congress wants the PAST put to rest and a NEW FUTURE !

Perhaps both You & phat could act as part of an advisory board , during the first year , so that Tracey has the opportunity to sort her Family affairs in Oz ?

WE , the FANS , do not deserve to spend the next 4 years , being led through the DARK AGES , that will ensue as phat fights YOU , should ALL his further SCAMS fail to see him reelected !

You are in a Position to propose Tracey Gaudry by back channels , and the remaining 40 " Voting Delegates " , some of whom are firmly committed to phat , will thankyou for this initiative ?

Would appreciate your reply

Skippy

Not holding my breathe !

Another question worth asking , WHO is paying the Round the World Airfares , AND , who gets the " Airmiles "?

Skippy(advocate for "Disabled / Para Sport")@skippydetour. blogging as skippi-cyclist.blogspot & Parrabuddy.blogspot currently on the road with ProTour Grand Tour Events .

skippy's picture

posted by skippy [385 posts]
11th September 2013 - 6:37

4 Likes

John Stevenson wrote:
ch wrote:

Is this being done?

Not that I'm aware of. As I understand it, the combination of drug & tracer would require regulatory approval and no pharma company's going to jump that hoop to stop a few idiot athletes misusing their product.


And tracers in prescription medications would not prevent doping with GW501516 ("Endurobol") which is not approved for clinical use.

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
11th September 2013 - 12:24

8 Likes