UCI must take responsibility for Armstrong doping scandal, insists WADA President
Wednesday, 24 October 2012
October 24 - John Fahey, President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), says the International Cycling Union (UCI) and its leaders must take responsibility for allowing doping to take place following the Lance Armstrong scandal that has left the reputation of the sport in tatters.
UCI President Pat McQuaid announced this week that Armstrong would be stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned from the sport after the body decided not to not appeal the decision taken by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
But Fahey (pictured top) has claimed the sport will only regain credibility when senior officials such as McQuaid and his predecessor Hein Verbruggen, the current UCI Honorary President who was in charge during Armstrong's seven Tour de France wins, take responsibility for the scandal.
"Looking back, clearly the doping was widespread," Fahey said.
"I look forward to seeing what they [the UCI] propose to do for the future to ensure what we've seen through this Armstrong debacle doesn't happen again.
"They clearly have to take the blinkers off, 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?'
"I don't think there's any credibility if they don't do that and I think they need to get confidence back into the sport so that its millions of supporters around the world will watch and support the sport going forward."
But the UCI, and McQuaid in particular, have a far more vocal critic in Tyler Hamilton, the former US Postal Service cycling teammate of Armstrong who claimed the UCI covered up a positive test from Armstrong for the banned blood booster EPO at the 2001 Tour de Suisse.
"Pat McQuaid's comments [on banning Armstrong] expose the hypocrisy of his leadership," said Hamilton, who was banned for doping for two years in 2004.
"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."
Hamilton was joined Floyd Landis in testifying against Armstrong and the UCI but McQuaid has reacted furiously against the pair.
"Another thing that annoys me is that Landis and Hamilton are being made out to be heroes," said McQuaid, who has been UCI President since 2006.
"They are as far from heroes as night and day.
"They are not heroes, they are scumbags.
"All they have done is damage the sport."
The UCI management committee will meet on Friday (October 26) to discuss whether Armstrong's seven titles and prize money should be redistributed.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will await the UCI meeting and further information before a decision is made on the bronze medal Armstrong won in the time trial at Sydney 2000.