Like this site? Help us to make it better.

Brian Cookson: Lance Armstrong participation in Tour de France charity ride "inappropriate and disrespectful"

UCI president reacts to disgraced cyclist's plans to join Geoff Thomas's One Day Ahead fundraiser this summer ...

UCI president Brian Cookson says Lance Armstrong's planned participation on part of a charity ride that will tackle the Tour de France route this summer a day ahead of the race is "inappropriate and disrespectful."

The disgraced cyclist has been invited to spend a couple of days on the ride by former England footballer Geoff Thomas, who credits cancer survivor Armstrong with helping insprire him to successfully fight leukaemia after being diagnosed with the disease in 2003.

Although the UCI has no jurisdiction over the event, which Thomas hopes will raise £1 million for the charity Cure Leukaemia, Cookson was unequivocal in his opinion when speaking at the Sport Industry Breakfast Club in London.

He said it was "completely inappropriate and disrespectful to the Tour de France, the peloton and the UCI" for Armstrong, banned from sport for life in 2012 and stripped of the seven yellow jerseys he won between 1999 and 2005, to take part.

The Texan's planned participation in the event has polarised opinion. Some believe that Armstrong's presence will help Thomas raise more funds for his charity, with broadcaster Ned Boulting among those to wish the ex-footballer well in achieving his goal.

Others, such as Sir Dave Brailsford maintain that Armstrong should stay away, with the Team Sky principal expressing concerns that the media attention his presence in France would undoubtedly bring would be a "massive distraction" from this summer's race.




Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

Latest Comments