The UCI, cycling’s governing body, has asked the individual national federations to begin investigating the allegations made by Floyd Landis.
After suggesting that Landis, the 2006 Tour de France winner who was stripped of his title after failing a dope test, was someone who bore a grudge, the UCI’s president Pat McQuaid changed his stance at a press conference at the Giro d’Italia today.
Landis admitted doping and made allegations against a number of other riders and managers. He also alleged that Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel had paid the UCI to suppress a positive dope test result, something the UCI has strongly denied.
McQuaid said: “The UCI is very concerned about the comments Landis made last week. The UCI, Wada and USADA have spent a lot of money, over $1m, in prosecuting Landis and he has spent a likewise amount of money defending himself over four years. For him to now come out and make these statements is incredible.
“Something I only admitted in a radio interview two days ago is that three or four days after we declared him positive, I called Floyd Landis. I have never done it before or since. I pleaded with Floyd Landis that he should admit his guilt, take his sanction and try to do something good for cycling. He refused to do that and now, four years later, he admits his guilt.
“We take his accusations very seriously. I received a copy of the email, I think at the beginning of May. It is the responsibility of the national federation to conduct an investigation and I asked the US federation to begin an inquiry. They requested US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to make an inquiry and that is ongoing.
“We have asked Canadian Cycling in the case of Michael Barry, the Australians in the case of Matt White, the Belgians in the case of Johan Bruyneel and the French for John Lelangue.
“One thing we take very seriously is the accusation that the UCI took a bribe to hide a positive by Lance Armstrong in 2001. We’ve contacted the laboratories who were involved in that time and I have statements from those labs and WADA that supports what I will say. First all all, the lab of Paris, the AFLD [French anti-doping agency], there were three EPO positives between 2001 and 2003. All the reports were sent to the UCI which were also sent to the IOC. At Lausanne [Switzerland] there were 18 [positives for EPO] between 2001 and 2003. Six in 2001, four in 2002 and eight in 2003. All were sent to the IOC and Swiss Olympic Committee. From 2003 onwards, they were also sent to WADA.
“I also have a report from the Tour of Switzerland of 2001 that states that there were no positive results at that edition. All this information supports the information from the UCI and there is no way the UCI could have accepted a bribe. It is just not possible.”