November 4 - Former International Cycling Union (UCI) President Hein Verbruggen has written to Lance Armstrong urging him to make clear allegations that he helped cover-up positive drugs tests for the American as he won a record seven Tour de France titles are not true.
The Dutchman, head of the UCI between 1991 and 2005, has faced accusations for more than a year now that he was involved a conspiracy to protect Armstrong.
The allegations have badly damaged the reputation of Verbruggen, formerly one of the International Olympic Committee's most influential members and President of SportAccord.
He now wants Armstrong to come forward and help clear his name.
"I recently wrote to Lance Armstrong to express the disgust aroused in me by the cynical game he plays, in refusing to make a public statement to refute the allegations made by his teammates, Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton, who had said that they had nothing to fear if there were positive results, because he could ask the UCI to take matters into its hands and cover their positivity," Armstrong told Italian cycling website Tuttobici.
"From what I understand by reading their testimonies, Armstrong had told them he was positive, even though no evidence of a positive test has never been produced.
"If Landis and Hamilton are right, I can only assume that the objective of Armstrong was to convince both of them that had tested positive and had managed to remove the evidence in order to assure them that he could do it again, even for them."
Verbruggen claimed that he had approached Armstrong when the allegations first surfaced that positive drugs tests had been covered up, including one for Erythropoietin (EPO) at the Tour de Suisse in 2001.
"I asked him if he had made those statements to his teammates, emphasising the seriousness of his words and the damage it would cause to the UCI, to my and my integrity and reputation of the anti-doping laboratory in Lausanne," Verbruggen told Tuttobici.
"Armstrong immediately replied to me: 'I have never been found positive, so I do not see why I should have to 'invent' stories like this, it would be a really stupid idea.
"It is 100 per cent false."
But Verbruggen admitted that he had made a mistake in accepting donations from Arrmstrong to help fund.
The Texan gave $125,000 (£78,000/€92,000) in two separate donations to the UCI.
The initial donation of $100,000 (£63,000/€74,000) was used to purchase a Sysmex machine in 2002, a piece of equipment used to analyse blood samples, although the governing body has always denied any suggestion that Armstrong used this in an attempt to bribe the UCI, as has been claimed by Landis.
"With the benefit of hindsight, and in light of the confession of Armstrong, I admit that it would have been wiser not to accept donations on his part," Verbruggen told Tuttobici.
"The UCI has clearly accepted the donation in good faith to finance its fight against doping.
"There is no relationship between the test and the two donations to the UCI Armstrong: Armstrong has never tested positive, there has never been any positive test to hide."
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