(Authors note: I am going to try to let this go after today. But there may be more. There is a hypocrisy I see right now and I don’t feel I can end without at least saying the following)
An Open Letter to Pat McQuaid, President UCI
Dear Mr. McQuaid,
Yesterday it was announced that Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) would not contest the charges brought by USADA against Lance Armstrong. Further you said that UCI would support the recommendations that Mr. Armstrong be banned for life and stripped of all of his titles. I believe that that decision was the correct one. I believe that Mr. Armstrong should be suspended from cycling until such time as he tells the truth about his activities during the period in question. There is a mountain of evidence against him that can no longer be denied and it is time for some honesty in this regard.
I believe that more must be done to protect the integrity of the sport. You are quoted as saying that: “‘Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling, and he deserves to be forgotten in cycling”. This statement is filled with hypocrisy. It falsely simplifies the issue by blaming one individual for a culture of cheating in the sport. It fails to recognize the people and institutions (including your own) that failed cycling during that time. It fails to recognize the people and institutions (including your own) that profited from Mr. Armstrong’s apparent success while ignoring the good of the sport.
Mr. McQuaid you served as the UCI Road Commission Chairman for 8 years before becoming President of the UCI in 2006, a position that you still hold. In your positions you were and are responsible for the integrity of the sport. The years of your tenure coincide with the “Lance Armstrong Era” which has now been shown to be dicredited due to mass cheating among the professional ranks. Christian Prudhomme has decided that the Tour de France titles vacated by Mr. Armstrong should remain blank given the inability to ensure that any of the lower riders were clean at the time of their victories. This is a stunning indictment of cycling and there is plenty of responsibility to be shared for these sad events.
In your position as Road Commission Chairman and now as President of UCI you failed to properly supervise the sport. By your accounts Mr. Armstrong passed about 200 drug tests administered by UCI. Clearly the policies and testing procedures that were in place under your administration were inadequate. There is a either real of perceived conflict of interest regarding the donation Mr. Armstrong made to UCI in conjuction with a failed drug test. In a previous post of mine I detailed the moral failings of USADA in the process they followed in pursuing a case against Mr. Armstrong. One must also question the commitment and integrity of UCI in this matter as well.
Cycling must move beyond this difficult affair. UCI must institute meaningful reforms to ensure the integrity of the sport. Because of your failure of leadership during this era I do not believe that you can provide the leadership needed to do this. I am therefore calling on you to resign immediately from UCI. Please do the right thing for the sport.