LeMond speaks to the press in 2007. AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian

Embattled cycling chief McQuaid turns on 'arrogant' LeMond

The UCI president is resisting calls from the Tour de France champion, and others, to resign.

FORMER TOUR DE FRANCE winner Greg LeMond was “arrogant” in offering to act as interim president of the International Cycling Union (UCI).

LeMond made the offer last month should incumbent Pat McQuaid give in to calls for his resignation.

McQuaid, however, has bit back.

“Greg was a great cyclist who I’ve known since the time when I was the organiser of the Tour of Ireland back in the 1980s, but I would ask him: ‘What have you done for cycling in the past 25 years?’ The answer is: nothing,” McQuaid said.

“I find it a little bit arrogant for him to say he is prepared to serve as interim president of the UCI.

“The UCI is a democracy, there is an electoral system in place. If he wants to, he can always seek the support of his national federation and stand for election next September.”

Coming out swinging

Asked if he had been stung by calls for his resignation in the wake of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal, McQuaid said, “Personally? no. Most of the people who were calling for my resignation had nothing to do with cycling and I think they were wrong to do so.

“People involved in cycling who I work with every day know what I have achieved as president.” He added:

I think there is enough proof that the state of cycling is completely different today to what it was in the Armstrong era.”

He also dismissed the lobby group Change Cycling Now as having a hidden agenda.

“They have discussed nothing with us, they only spoke of their own interests for two days in London,” he said. “They are not part of cycling, they have no mandate, no status, but they do have a conflict of interests.

“It seems clear to me that their leader, Jaime Fuller [head of the Australian company Skins] is seeking to further his own business interests.”

Always a pioneer

McQuaid continued, “Then there is a journalist who wants to promote a book coming out shortly and a haematologist who claims to have a method of detecting blood transfusions for the next Tour de France. Why are they not working with the UCI or the World Anti-Doping Association?”

The UCI has appointed an independent commission to investigate the Armstrong affair after the US Anti-Doping Association (USADA) uncovered proof of a systematic doping programme.

McQuaid commented, “If their report makes recommendations, we will implement them.

If they say our attitude was inadequate, we’ll take the necessary measures to ensure that this sort of thing won’t happen again in the future with a big name rider.

“In the USADA report on Armstrong, there were many accusations that we reject.

“The UCI is serene and convinced that the independent commission will show that these allegations are not justified as the UCI has always been a pioneer in the fight against doping.”

In other cycling news, the cycling outfit once know as Rabobank will now be go under the racing title of Blanco Pro Racing after securing new sponsorship.

Speaking back in October, Bert Bruggink, a member of the Rabobank’s managing board, said, “We are no longer convinced that the international professional world of cycling can make this a clean and fair sport.”

- © AFP, 2012

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