The Union Cycliste International (UCI) remains under fire in the wake of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal. President Pat McQuaid gave the governing body’s rubber stamp approval of the US Anti-Doping Agency’s decision to strip Armstrong’s seven Tour de France wins, but critics are calling for more.

Three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond called for McQuaid to step down in an open letter published on his Facebook page.

“I want to tell the world of cycling to please join me in telling Pat McQuaid to resign. I have never seen such an abuse of power in cycling’s history; resign Pat, if you love cycling. Resign even if you hate the sport,” LeMond wrote. “Pat McQuaid, you know damn well what has been going on in cycling, and if you want to deny it, then even more reasons why those who love cycling need to demand that you resign.”

LeMond goes on to allege McQuaid and his predecessor Hein Verbruggen are corrupt and claims to be in possession of a document that proves it.

McQuaid and Verbruggen are currently suing Irish journalist Paul Kimmage in the Swiss courts over accusations of corruption. “I donated money for Paul’s defence, and I am willing to donate a lot more, but I would like to use it to lobby for dramatic change in cycling,” LeMond added. “The sport does not need Pat McQuaid or Hein Verbruggen; if this sport is going to change, it is now. Not next year, not down the road, now! Now or never!”

McQuaid acknowledged cycling is at a crossroads at Monday’s press conference when he announced the UCI’s decision not to appeal the US agency’s decision against Armstrong. The agency collected damning evidence and testimonies that demonstrated Armstrong doped throughout much of his career.

Although McQuaid thanked USADA during the press conference he leveled some criticism at their process. “It would have been better that the evidence collected by USADA had been assessed by a neutral body. … This would have avoided both the criticism of a witch hunt against Mr Armstrong and the criticism that the UCI had a conflict of interest.”

USADA CEO Travis Tygart hit back on Monday. He called for a full and independent investigation into cycling, and put further blame on the UCI. “The truth is Lance Armstrong, on their watch, pulled off the greatest heist sport has ever seen,” Tygart told the Guardian newspaper. “Instead of attempting to explain or justify their inadequacies, the UCI should acknowledge their responsibility and failures and find ways to make it right.

“They accepted money from him [Armstrong], they accused us of a witch-hunt (without seeing any evidence), they sued the chief whistle blower [Floyd Landis], they discouraged witnesses from participating.”

“They simply are trying to divert attention away from their own failures in this whole sad saga, and those that love the sport of cycling and clean sport should not allow that to happen.”

Tyler Hamilton and Landis were among 11 of Armstrong’s former team-mates who testified. McQuaid said, “[they] are being made out to be heroes, they are as far from heroes as night and day, they are not heroes, they are scumbags.” McQuaid immediately retracted the scumbag claim, but added Hamilton is trying to make money with his book, The Secret Race.

“Pat McQuaid’s comments expose the hypocrisy of his leadership and demonstrate why he is incapable of any meaningful change,” Hamilton said on Tuesday. “Instead of seizing an opportunity to instil hope for the next generation of cyclists, he continues to point fingers, shift blame and attack those who speak out, tactics that are no longer effective. Pat McQuaid has no place in cycling.”

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President John Fahey asked if cycling can continue with McQuaid at the helm. “If that doping was widespread, then the question is legitimately put: who was stopping it? Who was working against it? Why wasn’t it stopped?” Fahey told Australia’s Fox Sports. He said the UCI need to “look at the past, examine the people who are there, ask themselves the questions ‘Are those same people still in the sport and can they proceed forward with those people remaining?'”

Despite the calls of resignation, McQuaid said that he does not fear losing his job. “No. Not at all, no,” McQuaid explained. “As I said, since I became President my objective as been the fight against doping. My objective has been to change the culture of doping in the sport. I’ve done everything I can. I don’t see why my position should be under fire because of the activities of these guys?”

The UCI is holding a special management committee meeting next Friday at their headquarters in Aigle, Switzerland.

External link
Greg LeMond’s Facebook page

  • Cherry

    Ah now we see the real objective of all this Aarmstrong business which has clearly been all about bringing the UCI down and probably explains why a confession from Lance is so vital for the likes of Kimmage, Millar, Wiggins and the rest. It’s puzzled me why after successfully discrediting the guy and having his titles stripped away a confession is so essential but I now realise that without it all they have is unprovable innuendo regarding alleged failed drug tests and their vendetta against the UCI is doomed to failure. As for Greg, unfortunately the end result of all this is that how can anyone believe he and his team mates were clean by today’s standards?

  • BFG

    Couldn’t agree more Colin.
    Craig Thomas you’re almost as big an idiot as Daley Thompson. You are both calling for the IOC to banish cycling from the Olympics when it was the IOC who made the British Olympic Committee include athletes who had previously served a ban for doping. The IOC should be rethinking how to combat doping and the UCI need Paul Kimmage as president.

  • dai bananas brother

    ? works in his favour that there haven’t been any drug busts in Wales since Operation Julie. Compo was it? someting like that, or was that the actor’s name?

  • Colin

    If your looking for a new UCI president, to me Greg Lemond comes a long way 2nd to Paul Kimmage. Whether he was clean or not Greg Lemond must have known or at least strongly suspected what was going on in the sport at that time yet I don’t remember him shouting from the roof tops about it! What weight would that have had being the holder of several TdF titles plus a world title? He says the time is ‘now or never’ yet he claims he has documentary proof of McQuaid and Verbruggens guilt, well stop messing about and show us – the time is now!!

    Paul Kimmage on the other hand had the balls to stand up against the dopers when it was ‘unfashionable’ to do so and it cost him dearly. If you want an honest president who truely loves our sport vote Kimmage!!

  • Oliver

    …Oh, and of course all other sports which have ever had a positive drug or doping test 😉

    Wouldn’t leave much, would it…synchronised swimming, maybe?

  • Craig Thomas

    The IOC should expel cycling from the olympics until there is evidence of unimpeachable integrity in the administration of the sport of cycling.

  • Paul Rees

    I’m with Darryl, let’s get a campaign going to oust McQuaid and Verbruggen and have Greg Lemond as president, he was well known for being a clean rider even back in the dark old days, he is also a man who genuinely loves the sport as most of us mere mortals do…..with an extreme passion. It seems to me sometimes that the greater the standing some of these people have in the sport, the less they must love it because all they seem to do is abuse it. Lets have someone who doesn’t have financial interests as their priority, lets have someone who cares about the sport, someone who wants to do the job to make the sport better not to get rich, after all, most of us give up our time to things in the sport with no financial gain whatsoever in fact, quite the opposite. I am not suggesting that someone does the job for “gratis,” but surely their motive for doing the job has to be for the right reason.

  • bob

    I agree, the leadership must change, or properly explain their actions (including accepting the 100K from Armstrong)

  • roginoz

    mick I so agree with you . before I got to your comment I was thinking ..Lemond would be a great UCI President even for a short time .Yes Greg it is now or never come hold us tight..

  • Alan

    Everyone has suspected the corrupt doping practices for years, but until the “Reasoned Document” came out there was no real proof. If something had gone wrong in a business context, Pat McQuaid would have had to resign or be sacked. I agree with Greg Lemond that Pat McQuaid has to go (even if he was “squeaky clean”). If he does not resign then he could be in office for up to 4 more years. What needs to happen is the 42 Cycling Federations who make up the UCI congress should to call for an extraordinary Congress meeting under Article 28 rule 2 calling for his dismissal from office under Article 53 rule 1 ( . Get your cycling club to mandate your federation to call for his removal.

  • William Hirst

    I now have a lot more respect for LeMond. When his form slipped after his 1990 victory, he didn’t resort to doping, he just tried his best and then called it a day when he realized he couldn’t repeat his past form. It is so sad what has happened with Armstrong, but at least LeMond can not only say he is the only American winner of the Tour de France, he can say he did it fair and clean.

  • BFG

    McQuaid needs to go now and hopefully in an ideal world be replaced by Paul Kimmage.
    McQuaid and the rest of the UCI are no different to Armstrong; if somebody speaks out against them then they both sue them with the well established bully boy tactics.

  • angharad

    McQuaid has got to go – I second Le Mond to replace him.

  • Andrew Harris

    LeMond as UCI President????

    That I would like to see.

  • Graeme

    Pat McQuaid is the biggest dope(r) of them all…he`s Irish! lol

  • phil tregear

    well done Greg. Is there any thing we wee fans can do to help rid the UCI of these dinosaurs?

  • Ken Evans

    “Resign even if you hate the sport,”

    LeMond goes on to allege McQuaid and his predecessor Hein Verbruggen are corrupt
    and claims to be in possession of a document that proves it.

    McQuaid and Verbruggen are currently suing Irish journalist Paul Kimmage in the Swiss courts
    over accusations of corruption.
    “I donated money for Paul’s defence, and I am willing to donate a lot more,…”

    Amazing !
    Will something finally change ?

  • jim

    There is still plenty of doping going on now .
    Look at the farce that surrounded Contador ,
    who then came back aftere a ridiculous ban and rode faster and harder everyday of the Vuelta
    than Armstrong did in any Tour .
    fact is there is too much money involved and as fast as dopers are caught they develop new ways round the test !
    I also do not think this is the only sport affected judging by some of the mystery performances at the olympics.

  • mick lee

    Its like jimmy savile and the bbc, Mr Mcquaid must have know what was going on, fall on your sword and let Greg lemond be UCI president. time for a change.

  • Darryl

    I tried to find out my UCI delegate’s (Mr Alfred Chik Yuen Li – Hong Kong) email address today without much success. If there’s someone out there with the email addresses of the UCI delegates, please post them so we can apply a bit of pressure. Its clear to me that McQaid and Verbruggen need to go.

  • TG

    Come on Pat! Do the right thing and join Lance in the naughty corner.