Pat McQuaid, the president of the UCI has declined Cycling Weekly‘s invitation to clarify the contradictions regarding the explanations of Lance Armstrong’s donations to the governing body and the purchase of a Sysmex machine, a piece of equipment used to perform blood tests.

On June 2, CW requested an interview with Mr McQuaid and submitted 19 questions in an attempt to clear up the inconsistencies in the various statements made explaining how much was donated, when it was paid and what the money was spent on.

This week a spokesman from the UCI replied to say: “UCI does not wish to do this interview. However, you could see the receipt of the Sysmex machine – which is in a file in the legal department of the UCI – if you want to visit us. In relation to the payments the president clarified everything during the interview with Cyclingnews and will not comment any more until after the Landis investigation is completed.”

In that interview, Mr McQuaid revealed there were, in fact, two payments from Armstrong to the UCI. He said the first donation was made in 2002. It was for $25,000, paid by a personal cheque signed by Armstrong and his then wife, Kristin. McQuaid said that money was used by the UCI’s anti-doping council to do tests on junior riders, because the UCI wanted to ensure there was no conflict of interest as Armstrong was an active rider.

McQuaid said the second payment, for $100,000, was made in 2005 and came from Armstrong’s management company Capital Sports and Entertainment. McQuaid said the fact the money came from his management company may explain why Armstrong did not know about it when he gave his deposition to the arbitration hearing in the SCA Promotions case in 2005 and said that the donation he’d made to the UCI some years earlier for an amount ‘in the region of $25,000’.

However, there are still inconsistencies in McQuaid’s statements because last month he said that Armstrong pledged a donation after visiting the UCI’s new headquarters in Aigle in 2002 but that the money did not come in until 2005, when the UCI chased it up.

And in an interview with Eurosport in 2005, former UCI president Hein Verbruggen said that Armstrong had given money “for the research against doping, to discover new anti-doping methods… He gave money from his private funds, cash. He didn’t want this to be known but he did it.”

The UCI may be keen to avoid further questioning on the matter and Mr McQuaid may feel his explanations so far are adequate but so far, little adds up.

The issue of an active rider making donations to the UCI and the UCI’s past and present presidents’ inability to provide one, clear definitive account of what was paid, why and when raises further questions about the relationship between the sport’s governing body and its most renowned athlete.

1. Pat McQuaid said the donation from Mr Armstrong was pledged in 2002 after he and Johan Bruyneel visited UCI headquarters in Aigle. Mr McQuaid said the pledge was made in 2002 but the money did not come in until 2005 when ‘a phone call was made’. Why was there the delay?

2. Who telephoned who to chase up the money?

3. Mr McQuaid said the payment was made in 2005 but at the Play the Game conference in October 2007, Mr McQuaid said the money came in ‘about 15 months ago’, which would make it around May 2006. So when exactly did the money arrive in the UCI bank account? Was it made by bank transfer by Mr Armstrong or by a company?

4. Mr McQuaid has said he did not consider a donation from an active athlete to be a conflict of interests. Can you confirm how many other payments from active riders or others involved in the sport (a team manager for example) have been accepted?

5. When was the Sysmex machine purchased?

6. Which model of machine was purchased?

7. Exactly how much did it cost?

8. Someone at Sysmex told Cycling Weekly that the Sysmex machine would have cost ‘a little more than $100,000’. Did the UCI negotiate a deal for this particular machine?

9. Mr McQuaid said the UCI had documents to show when the machine was purchased and how much it cost. Can these documents be published on the UCI website or provided to any media who requests to see them?

10. Has the UCI purchased any other equipment from Sysmex?

11. What does the UCI use the Sysmex machine for?

12. How many races was the Sysmex used at in 2009?

13. How many tests were performed using the Sysmex machine in 2009?

14. Have any doping offences been detected as a result of the Sysmex machine?

15. How is the Sysmex machine transported when it goes to races?

16. Is its use in the field ‘WADA accredited’? Is it used in the field in accordance with the accredited lab conditions at Lausanne, Chatenay-Malabre and elsewhere?

17. Someone from Sysmex told Cycling Weekly they were surprised the machine was transported because it operates using a very sensitive laser that could become less accurate if jolted. Who operates the Sysmex machine and ensures it remains calibrated?

18. Can you provide a photograph of the machine?

19. Is it possible for us to come to see the Sysmex machine in use at the Tour de France?

  • Andy Kennedy

    Bear in mind that Cycling Weekly is a business and it’s not in the business of cleaning up sport or protecting rider’s reputations. It’s in business of selling magazines and so it’s primary concern is to attract readers which it does by printing controversial stories, proven or otherwise, in order to keep it’s shareholders happy.

  • Stuart.

    Hmmm. Do you know, I love cycling. Various folks have admitted wrong doing within our sport but what are they doing know-they work super hard to rid the sport of cheats and to bring valued new sponsors in; Bjarne Riis, Erik Zabel, David Miller-all admitted guilt but now fantastic for our sport.

    Lance Armstrong-leave him alone, I would actually think for a great person with the Cancer ‘Thing’ then he could not possibly mess with his body!!! C’mon folks leave it out he is yet another great cyclist who brings out new sponsors and interest.

    The only person I do not like is-Riccardo Riccò, He laughs and jokes comparing his cheating to that of other sports using tax evasion as similar to what he did WTF!!!

    19 Questions cycling weekly which frankly I could not give a flyer about… Get on with now and the future or loose readers.

  • Gerald Docherty

    Hovis and Barry, Thanks for your feedback guys. All I am saying is that Allegations are Allegations. The bloke has been cycling for what, 17 years and no mud that has stuck? But people are flinging it left right and center trying to find something, a story, a way to knock down a great champion, a way to justify their jealousy?
    Even to this day, when every test result has come back clean you try to find a reason for this by saying he has given backhanders to the UCI. There that’ll do it, we will never really know that truth so lets use that as our come-back to the No negative results argument. Come on guys.
    I acknowledge the fact that this will continue, it’s not going to go away, people are always going to make the accusations, insinuations, everyone will have their opionion.
    But it is not a healthy argument, because you can’t support it with any COLD.HARD.FACTS.

  • Hadyn Bosher @ 77in Thailand

    THE BIG QUESTION ??For what reason did Armstrong “pledge” money in 2002, and why was there a need to make a phone call because it hadn’t been received ?? O.K, a pledge is only a promise,,and broken promises are a fact of life,he could have just changed his mind!! ,thinking “they have probably forgot by now why i made the offer,for them to make contact 3 years later, and him to pay up stinks!!Even with a legal contract,which it wasn’t,you would have little chance of receiving any debt,after allowing that length of time to elapse before before persuing the situation!! BLACKMAIL/CORRUPTION,a bit of both i would imagine,in the nicest way of course,being they are all gentlemen.!!

  • Ben Otto

    I’m very happy with CW’s line of questioning on this. Leave Armstrong to one side for a minute because its in all our interests to for McQuaid to get his story straight. What is the point of Wiggins and others busting a gut to ride clean when we can’t trust to sport’s governing body to come clean on something this serious? They are very reasonable questions to ask, I put money into the sport and I would prefer not to wait 5 years for Jeff Novitzky to finish his investigation before getting some answers.

  • barry davies

    July 15 16:15
    Gerald DochertyStop your witch hunt guys, your merely adding fuel to the preposterous claims by a proven liar and cheat in Landis.
    Armstrong has done nothing but good for the sport and assisted in cleaning it up to the sport it is today. It’s finally back to athletes competing upon level playing fields, and going on this current Tour, has lead to it becoming one of the most exciting events so far.
    Stop searching for something that is not there, and let the sport of cycling be known for just that – The Sport of Cycling

    What has Armstrong done for the good of cycling apart from making a considerable amount of money by winning the Tour de France whilst having an organised doping program in his teams just like every other team at the time.
    and how has he helped clean up cycling ???? apart from giving large sums of money to the corupt heads of the UCI to allegely cover up his failed drug test in the Tour de Swiss.
    wait till the truth comes out in the US grand jury trials this will make the Puerto affair seem small change when it all comes out.

  • Hovis

    Gerald and others like him are as guilty of being blinkered as those he accuses of a witch-hunt. I think most people who have followed this feel that the truth is not being shared by the UCI and Mr Armstrong for whatever reason and that someone should be asking these awkward questions. While the credibility of Floyd Landis may be zero, the credibility of Lance Armstrong and Pat McQuaid isn’t exactly beyond question after recent events. Ask most people if they agree that ‘Armstrong has done nothing but good for the sport’ and I think you’ll find the response is somewhat less than a 100% yes!

  • Atitipupu

    You forgot to ask, “did someone at the UCI catch Armstrong doping and blackmail him for the money?” or “Did anyone pocket any backhanders on the Sysmex machine deal?”

    But that would have been a very rude line of questioning and I’m sure no such skulllduggery would have occurred – there must be a more innocent explanation for the apparent smokescreen.

  • adam

    OK, so people are innocent until proven guilty… Fair enough. But when there is a murky history – such as in cycling – and the answers just don’t seem to tot up (a la Michael Rassmusen) then the questions take on a bigger force. Once answers begin to contradict one another – even when from the same source – then it just looks increasingly suspect, whether they are or not….

  • mike salkeld

    The article tries to dig deeper into this issue by picking up on details that individuals like Lance and Pat could easily not know, simply because of the many other mental commitments they have. It’s a low blow attempt to prove systemic corruption in the sport. Go and do this type of investigation in football.turn up some real news with actual fact about corrupt ‘sports’ people and officials. I would gladly read about that in cycling weekly.

  • Ronan McDonnell

    This is the kind of crusade we can all get behind. Good suggestions!

  • Gerald Docherty

    Stop your witch hunt guys, your merely adding fuel to the preposterous claims by a proven liar and cheat in Landis.
    Armstrong has done nothing but good for the sport and assisted in cleaning it up to the sport it is today. It’s finally back to athletes competing upon level playing fields, and going on this current Tour, has lead to it becoming one of the most exciting events so far.
    Stop searching for something that is not there, and let the sport of cycling be known for just that – The Sport of Cycling.

  • Rob

    This is aimed at CW and I would be interested to hear a response.

    If Armstrong is found guilty of doping in his career, will you slate him and all his achievments, calling him a cheat? I think this is fair and all dopers should receive this treatment.

    Or will you go down the route of Pantani. You openly call him a legend in your magazine yet he was a proven cheat?

    When is a doper not a cheat, when he’s Italian, attacked alot and was super popular?