Brian Cookson tells the Sports Industry Breakfast Club that Lance Armstrong would be "well advised" not to take part in Geoff Thomas' charity ride this summer

UCI president Brian Cookson says it is “completely inappropriate” for Lance Armstrong to ride several stages of the Tour de France route with former footballer Geoff Thomas this summer.

Speaking at the Sports Industry Breakfast Club, Cookson said the plan was disrespectful to the Tour, claiming that Armstrong would be advised not to take part.

The Texan had his seven Tour titles taken away in 2012 after he admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career and has been banned from taking part in several charity events since.

Cookson said: “I’m sure that Geoff Thomas means well, but frankly I think that’s completely inappropriate and disrespectful to the Tour, disrespectful to the current riders, and disrespectful to the UCI and the anti-doping community,” said Cookson.

“I think Lance would be well-advised not to take part in that.”

>>> Lance Armstrong praises CIRC anti-doping report

Former Crystal Palace captain, Thomas, plans to ride the entire route of the 2015 Tour one day ahead of the peloton and has reportedly persuaded Armstrong to join him for a number of stages.

The reaction to the news within professional was mixed, with MTN-Qhubeka boss Doug Ryder and Team Sky’s Sir Dave Brailsford firmly against the decision, while Tinkoff-Saxo’s Steven de Jongh says he has no issue.

  • cahern1968

    Even the American IT’S are having trouble figuring out where the Livestrong charity ended and Lance Armstrong begins. There are articles reporting a large appearance fee to have LA attend charity rides in his heyday.

  • Im in two minds with this one, yes he’s a bully and a cheat , however he is entitled to ride his bike, the charities who benefit from these events IMHO are the ones who have the right to say whether they associate themselves with LA, it wouldn’t stop me from giving to a charity he was associated with.

  • elan

    I agree with the majority of comments on this page.Cookson should be more concerned with the current state of doping,and there is not a team who can honestly put their hands up and say we had no current or ex dopers connected with their teams.
    I for one would like to see the charity ride,and hope it raises a lot of cash for a deserving fund.

  • Lee Calver

    Publish the stages LA will be participating in for charity and see how many people turn out to ride with him. Most are sick to death of UCI and Pro Team Management rhetoric and hypocrisy. LA won his titles on a level playing field, get over it.

  • gr ice

    When is this Cookson and other involved with cycling going to Ban all the others that doped in pro cycling, LA has been made an example of, payed his dues etc, also

    he won that 7 tours we all know that, and all the others in the pelaton gets off the hook with little bans, ie contador etc, LA wants to ride his bike for charity and rake in millions for a very good causes, when is these idiots going to realise this, he should never be stopped from riding his bike for charity and also be aloud to ride his bike in sportives etc, he cant ride as a pro now, so leave the guy alone reduce his ban like you did to all the others and start concentrating on the pelaton that you have just now, because there is still doppers in your pelaton thats for sure.

  • ian franklin

    It simply sends the wrong message and panders to LA’s sociopathic personality.

  • Scott Hays

    We can label your behavior as well Cookson. Show some initiative and take some positive steps toward reducing current doping in the peloton.

  • Kevino Daviessss

    We have past winners Of one or more of the Grand Tours who are still riding yet proven they Doped to win, I think Cookson should be looking at ways to give these life bans too, this way when he eliminates all drug cheats from the sport then we can really listen to this man with substance, in less than two months Astana will still be in Italy racing, then is it Lance or B.Cookson who has let this great sport down? LA is history, unfortunaly the 2015 Giro isn’t!

  • Kevino Daviessss

    Last week a report came out saying lance wasn’t the only one in the peloton DOPING! Surely Cookson would better off spending his time cleaning up the professional and Amateur ranks first? LA is paying his dues, what crime is being carried out riding a bike in France hopefully attracting the right publicity and Donations for a worthwhile charity…?

    Well Done to Geoff Thomas for his work, maybe we have the answer now why LA will not help
    The USADA in trying to give information to clean this sport up, when he will never win anyway.

  • James Cooper

    Well said Ian – and chapeau to Brian Cookson too.
    Raising money to help others must always be applauded and of course forgiveness is an equally important way to help people.
    However, while I know I am cynical and unforgiving, it would be nice to see LA extending his charity and help to those he intimidated and bullied over the years.

  • Lance Arms tong screwed up royally and big time and has been paying for it for the past few years and will continue paying for it for the rest of his life. Yet many people (some of them post here) don’t think he has been or is being punished enough, they would put him in prison for the rest of his life. YET, he won those TDF titles when the larger majority, if not all , of the peloton was doping right along with him. You can say that he was a doper but cannot deny that he provided some of the most exciting cycling of the 90’s and early 2000’s. Watching the TDF these days is about as exciting as watching the grass grow. I say let it go. let the guy ride again.

  • Luiz Felipe Vieira

    GO LANCE!! IT IS A NOBLE CAUSE!!! It’s a charity ride! Get over it, haters!

  • ian franklin

    I have to say that Brian Cookson has got this absolutely correct. Further, Lance Armstrong only does things to benefit himself. For him ‘charity’ is only a route to self aggrandisement.