The USPS doping conspiracy was going on under the watch of UCI, so of course UCI and the participants in the conspiracy who cheated sport with dangerous performance enhancing drugs to win have a strong incentive to cover up what transpired. The participants in the conspiracy have lashed out in the press, gone to Congress and filed a lawsuit to avoid a public display of the evidence before neutral judges. Efforts to intimidate, scare or pressure us to conceal the truth will not stop us from doing the job we are mandated to do on behalf of clean athletes and the integrity of all sport. The participants of the USPS doping conspiracy made their decisions to use dangerous banned drugs to win and our job is to apply the rules whether someone is famous or anonymous and we will do that on behalf of the millions of people who demand clean sport despite these external pressures.
~ Travis Tygart, CEO of USADA and lead investigator
Athletic excellence. It’s something we all applaud. It’s something we all appreciate. We’ve been taught and told that the Olympics and organisations affiliated with the Olympic movement represent the purest form of athletic expression, and the governing bodies who watch over sport have their own respective sport’s and the general public’s best interests at heart. We then, therefore, cheer on those athletes, whether they are our favourites, part of our own nation’s squad, or because they simply represent to us the highest ideal of a sport’s particular ethos and goals.
However, this has all been a calculated lie by some who wish to obtain power and profit.
Instead of launching into a whole soliloquy of angst that rails against the UCI, I thought it would be more appropriate to walk through a chronology of events starting in 1993, with a few editorial comments.
Oct 30,1993 Verbruggen says professionals in the Olympics is the next natural evolution. As the IOC tries to compete with professional leagues and sports for sponsorship dollars, Samarach changes the face of the Games forever, allowing money-making athletes the ability to have Olympic glory.
Aug 16th, 1994 Verbruggen declares “We are concerned that the athletic performance is being overshadowed by the technology”. Thankfully they’ve allowed hundreds upon hundreds of technological advancements after this, including new electronic shifting… .
Aug 31, 1994 Indurain fails a drug test, but Verbruggen stays silent. Samuel Abt expresses his outrage on the silence of the UCI when Indurain fails a drug test. Unlike the way that Pantani was later forced to deal with Verbruggen’s ire, for example (see below), Indurain was allowed to carry on.
Jul 23, 1995 Helmet debate surround Casartelli’s Death. Verbruggen declares, “We have indicated the risk to the riders, but I believe that if you can’t apply certain rules on people it is better to drop them,” in reference to hard-shell helmets.
Jan 24th, 1997 UCI institutes the 50% hematocrit rule. Facing pressure from the IOC, UCI in Geneva puts in place the hematocrit rule, but faces fire for the hows and whys. Verbruggen denies it’s for anti-doping efforts, but merely for a “health check.”
Jan 6th, 1999 Verbruggen faces fire for moving World Championships to September. Verbruggen is the first UCI president to shuffle the location of the world championships to suit monetary interests.
May 20th, 1999 Verbruggen alleged to have covered up Brochard’s 1997 positive test. Willy Voet goes into detail in his book about the rampant doping culture of the 90s, and a UCI president is directly implicated in having close connections with a suspect rider? Imagine that… Contador anyone?
Jun 5th, 1999 Verbruggen refuses to bend on Pantani. An unyieldingVerbruggen refuses to bend the rules for Marco Pantani, and the Italian is ejected from the Giro.
July 17th, 1999 Verbruggen states cycling is cleaner than the past. I think the article speaks for itself. History has shown these comments to be the sham that they were.
Mar 31st, 2000 Samarach tells Verbruggen to fix cycling. Samarach had already put cycling on the disastrous course we have today with the inclusion of professionals into the Olympics without any restrictions of any kind (unlike football, which has an age restriction). He then tells Verbruggen to get rid of technology. And it’s the beginning of the end for our sport.
Nov 1st, 2000 Verbruggen under fire for “doping cover up”. Verbruggen declares, under oath, that the UCI is not responsible for cyclists who cheat, nor should they be held responsible for any cheating even though he has suspicions of drug use in the sport.
Nov 13th, 2000 Verbruggen says WADA should take over dope testing entirely. One of Verbruggen’s many flip-flops on the doping issue, and rather ironic with McQuaid’s current statements about where the responsibility lies with anti-doping efforts.
Nov 15th, 2000 Verbruggen under fire for wanting to destroy urine samples. French authorities step in, and due to media pressure Verbruggen agrees to keep the urine samples from 2000. Why would they want them to be destroyed?
Mar 29th, 2001 Verbruggen says human rights policy shouldn’t be a factor in choice of Olympic host cities. Verbruggen believed politics shouldn’t colour the choice of the host city… .
Jan 23rd, 2003 Pound vows to bust the cheats, Verbruggen whines about stiff consequences. Verbruggen thinks a two-year ban is too severe, thinks it’s as bad as a lifetime ban.
Sep 23, 2003 UCI upset by leak of a WADA Tour de France report to the media. The UCI didn’t like the fact that a WADA report went to stakeholders before the UCI had a chance to “amend any inaccurate points” and the media somehow got a hold of it. So, in a typically understated response from the UCI, WADA was banned from attending UCI events and races. Not that the UCI has ever “leaked” information. Never, never, never.
Jan 30th, 2004 Verbruggen drags his heels on WADA implementation, Tour de France complains. Patrice Clerc calls for WADA’s two-year bans to be implemented by the UCI, but Verbruggen isn’t so sure. Shocking.
Apr 10th, 2004 Cofidis suspends operations, Verbruggen supports. David Millar calls Gaumont a “nutter” for alleging widespread organised doping, but as we know now, Millar was lying back then. Verbruggen supports Cofidis through the difficult time. What a leader.
Sep 26, 2004 Vuelta organisers cite a conflict of interest in the idea of the ProTour creation. The canary in the coal mine starts to twitch in warning as Verbruggen’s creation creates a potential conflict of interest for the governing body.
Oct 3rd, 2004 It’s the ProTour! The ProTour is here! Verbruggen launches his “revolutionary” money-making scheme within professional cycling, declaring it’s at the point of no return and will go ahead with or without the blessing of the Tour de France.
June 2nd, 2005 Verbruggen says Beijing may be the most profitable games. In a telling article in Bloomberg, Verbruggen shows what his motivation is when it comes to sport – the almighty money part of the equation.
Sept 9th, 2005 Verbruggen criticizes WADA, and Armstrong declares this all a “Witch Hunt.” Sounds like the events of the past week have already happened, almost seven years ago to the month, except in this case Verbruggen attacks Dick Pound specifically, and rails on Pound for “…making public statements on the likely guilt of an athlete on the basis of a newspaper article and without all the facts being known.”
Sept 10th, 2005 Verbruggen says no action will be taken against Armstrong due to doping allegations. Certain athletes are banned and ostracized, others, like Armstrong, are protected.
Sept 17th, 2005 Verbruggen and McQuaid sue Sylvia Schenk on behalf of the UCI, attack WADA chief. Hein and Pat sure seem to be very litigious over the years, and seem to be alright with making potentially defamatory statements about the head of WADA and other candidates. When the shoe is on the other foot, however, here come the lawyers!
Sept 22nd, 2005 Verbruggen cleared of ethics violations by the IOC on the eve of McQuaid’s election. This pretty much speaks for itself.
July, 2006 Verbruggen accused of leaking information to L’Equipe and aiding McQuaid’s election. Controversy surrounds Verbruggen as McQuaid takes over the reins of the sport, with a whole litany of accusations thrown at the former president.
Jun 19th, 2007 The UCI will not tolerate any individual or organisation that causes damage to our sport. says McQuaid in 2007, but fires off at the ASO when they don’t want Astana at the start line in 2008. Which is it, Pat?
Jun 29th, 2007 Verbruggen spends time with Denver governor Bill Ritter. One example of Hein’s influence around the world of sport.
Jul 16th, 2007 McQuaid applauds Rabobank decision to pull Rasmussen. Only after saying the prior week that he should stay for not getting caught doping. Of course a year later he’s upset at the Tour for not allowing Astana to take the start line?
Jul 25th, 2007 Senior IOC Member says cycling on the chopping block. It’s not the first time cycling faces scorn and possible exclusion by the IOC because of its doping problem. Verbruggen gets crosshair treatment in this piece.
Jul 27th, 2007 Tour de France tells McQuaid to resign in the wake of the Vinokourov scandal. Clerc called for the riders, teams, organisers, and federations to unite against an organisation ruining the sport.
Sep 26th, 2007 McQuaid blasts Bettini for not wanting to sign a document that has no legal bearing. Suprised McQuaid didn’t file a lawsuit against Bettini in Swiss Court. Shame on Bettini for not wanting to sign a non-binding non-legal agreement.
Oct 23rd, 2007 Passport program begins its phase-in, with testing touted by Gripper as the way forward. The lack of cases introduced by the biological passport questions its validity, and now it’s being touted as a way to “target test,” rather than create bans. Amazing how that shift occurred after Gripper left.
Mar 14th, 2008 McQuaid firmly supports Contador against the ASO. Really? He supports a rider over an organiser? In the press? Publicly?
Mar 16th, 2008 French Cycling Federation calls for UCI board resignations. Pitallier calls Verbruggen a Bernie Ecclestone wannabe. It’s pretty much true. Allegedly.
Mar 21st, 2008 Hein and Pat file a lawsuit against Dick Pound. UCI cites “continual injurious and biased comments,” Pound gets the Hein treatment. How many lawsuits is that now?
Mar 28th, 2008 WADA withdraws support for the UCI’s biological passport programme. Due to a battle of wills between Dick Pound and Hein Verbruggen, WADA pulls out of the pilot program.
Mar 29th, 2008 Verbruggen concedes defeat to the Tour de France. ASO shows their might when later on the AIGCP, the organisers, and the UCI would collectively make arrangements to carve up the sport to their own benefit.
Jun 4th, 2008 Cycling is the cleanest it has ever been! According to this in-depth interview between Wilcockson and McQuaid. Several riders who excel in the following month’s Tour are subsequently busted for the-previously undetectable CERA, including stage winners Riccardo Ricco, Stefan Schumacher and Leonardo Piepoli plus the mountains winner and third-placed finisher overall Bernard Kohl.
July 1st, 2008 McQuaid says Tour de France was wrong to break away. Well, it certainly came back and paid them in spades, didn’t it Pat? This all happens because the Tour rightfully didn’t want Astana at their race. WADA helps out AFLD with dope testing. McQuaid and company sit home on the sidelines, and get grilled by other federations at the SportAccord conference in Athens.
Jul 16th, 2008 McQuaid accuses Tour of wanting their own private cycling league. Does this plot line sound familiar? You can’t control an organiser, so you accuse them of trying to “compete” with a governing body! Hey, it worked in 2008 (sort of), let’s try it again in 2011 with the AIGCP and the Gifted Group!
July 16th, 2008 McQuaid accuses Spain of being slow to get the anti-doping message. Surprisingly, the Spanish government doesn’t sue McQuaid. Must not have the same lawyers McQuaid and Verbruggen have.
July 28th, 2008 Verbruggen denies corruption claims over Keirin’s introduction to the Olympics. Nothing to see here. No sir, nothing out of the ordinary and untoward whatsoever.
Sep 9th, 2008 The Armstrong comeback. How did they bend the rules for him so he could compete in Australia without being in the testing pool for the required time? Enquiring minds would like to know that answer.
Sep 25th, 2008 THE PEACE ACCORD Yes, the ASO and the UCI carve up cycling for their own profit.
Oct 15, 2008 Four-year bans take effect? How many have been handed out? Exactly.
Oct 24th, 2008 McQuaid sort of kind of against re-testing samples. But if the stars align, and Venus is rising, maybe it’s okay.
Apr 10th, 2009 McQuaid defends Armstrong’s right to take a shower. Apparently while the doping controls for everyone else had to be done right away, Armstrong gets the McQuaid defense for taking a shower prior to a doping control.
May 13th, 2009 UCI “ponders” action against Boonen. For cocaine yes, they feel he damaged the image of cycling. However, Boonen escaped a McQuaid/Verbruggen lawsuit.
Sep 25, 2009 McQuaid promises a war on doping in his second term as prez. 47 positive cases in 2009? How many today? Right, we’re clean. Right? Right?
Oct 30th, 2009 AFLD and McQuaid square off over Armstrong. Here’s one of the press reports that McQuaid tells us not to believe, one that concerns the favourable treatment of Armstrong by the governing body. McQuaid SLAMS the AFLD for their practices, saying a report will show just how bad they are. We never saw any report. Nor did the AFLD.
Nov 17th, 2009 Velonews John Wilcockson sends an open letter to Verbruggen/McQuaid. Individual pursuit is removed from the Olympics. Wilcockson is not pleased and says so.
Nov 19th 2009 McQuaid apologizes for losing events, IOC doesn’t like cycling issues. 2013 will be an important review year for cycling, with hopes that no doping scandals at 2012 Games will darken an already tainted reputation for cycling with the IOC.
May 26th, 2010 McQuaid admits Armstrong donation acceptance “a mistake.” But hey, didn’t they deny it was a donation in the recent Armstrong documentation?
July 10th, 2010 Landis reveals taunting emails sent by Verbruggen after coming forward. Yes, this is really quite the becoming action by a former UCI president, IOC member, and SportAccord president.
Oct 7th, 2010 McQuaid takes exception to Torri’s comments about the sport. McQuaid’s concern centres around the sport looking bad. However, no lawsuit launched against the Italian anti-doping prosecutor.
Dec 3rd, 2010 CADF and UCI renew agreements to work with each other. You should see who sits on the CADF board, and who actually runs this organisation.
Dec 13th, 2010 Oh look! Four-year bans make another appearance! McQuaid says 4-year bans should be standard for EPO cheaters… and has that happened yet? Has it?
Jan 10th, 2011 McQuaid says he firmly backs Kim Andersen. Pat supports Andersen 100%, but then four months later says that there’s no place for him in the sport. A head-scratcher for sure.
Jan 18th, 2011 The brothers McQuaid conflict of interest. Yes, Pat speaks to the issue of family businesses in cycling. No conflicts there! None at all! No sir!
Feb 16th, 2011 McQuaid tells the Spanish Prime Minister where to stick it. I guess the leader of a nation has no business looking out for the interests of one of his citizens.
Mar 26th, 2011 UCI revives the Contador case to protect cyclings interests. One of the most historic flip-flops in McQuaid/Verbruggen history… 2 years later… .
Apr 11th, 2011 The Breakaway League boogeyman 2.0. This time it’s Vaughters and Bruyneel in cahoots. Apparently, no ASO. Apparently.
May 4th, 2011 Phantom lawsuit against Landis first appears. Where’s the lawsuit? Landis has never seen it. Never found it, and no one has really pressed the issue with Pat nor Hein in the last four months.
May 11th, 2011 McQuaid says dopers shouldn’t be managers. But he seems to forget about other support staff, and of course now he’s fighting USADA for imposing lifetime bans to a manager and a few doctors as well.
May 18th, 2011 McQuaid apologizes for document leak. Yes, the UCI seems to have a leaky ship with documents constantly ending up in the press, who are not to be believed. By the way, whatever happened to that investigation? Did we ever find out where the document leak came from? OF COURSE NOT.
May 24th, 2011 Verbruggen says Armstrong “Never, never never doped.” Verbruggen takes sides in the Landis/Hamilton vs. Armstrong saga. These non-neutral comments are not what you’d expect from a former president of a sport governing body.
July 18th, 2011 ASO/UCI unite for Beijing with GCP. The ASO Peace Accord yields fruit for all from China. Still waiting for FIFA to start a Chinese professional football circuit like the Premier League. Not holding my breath.
Oct 8th, 2011 The defence of China. I still just adore this entire caper. Hey, has the ProTour fund ever been paid back? Do we know what the profit statement looks like from Global Cycling Promotion? Of course not.
Jan 2nd, 2012 McQuaid called a “dick” by female professional. No comment. McQuaid doesn’t sue. Must be because Verbruggen wasn’t involved.
January 30, 2012 McQuaid and Verbruggen file a lawsuit against Kimmage on behalf of the UCI. When was the last time a sport governing body felt the need to sue a journalist specifically for comments made in print? It’s telling that the duo didn’t sue the newspapers. A nuisance lawsuit, reminiscent of someone else in the news.
Apr 3rd, 2012 SaxoBank retains licence in spite of loss of Contador’s points. It took four months into the season for this, um, unsurpising decison.
Jul 11th, 2012 McQuaid stays silent on USADA. It’s not our fight he says… until they air out the skeleton closet.
Aug 4th, 2012 McQuaid tells USADA STOP! WADA, AFLD, RFEC, CONI are just a few of the organisations who have caught the ire of the UCI. USADA is just the latest.
History has shown us a behaviour that is detrimental to the sport. The UCI injects itself into the day-to-day operation of the sport it oversees. It controls the anti-doping keys to the sport. Its leaders speak directly to key members of the for-profit side of the equation in cycling. The not-for-profit opportunity has direct involvement with for-profit ventures that benefit its group of elite insiders. The opinions offered on a variety of subjects have changed substantially over a short period of time, and depend on which circumstances can benefit them the most. The way the UCI has conducted business since 1992 makes the allegations of corruption, cronyism, and nepotism almost a dead certainty.
Study this small timeline of events and comments from the last two UCI presidents. Are their actions a benefit to the sport or a detriment? Picking fights. Filing lawsuits. Bullying. Intimidation. Lining their pockets.
When will you stop turning a blind eye and instead ask what you can do to help institute change? Just riding your bike and attempting to ignore what is happening at the top level of our sport will only give those currently in power more resolve to take more away from those who deserve so much more: