International Cycling

Lance's credibility questioned

2013-11-19 14:08
Lance Armstrong (AFP)

Amsterdam -  Former UCI president Hein Verbruggen has questioned Lance Armstrong's credibility after the American rider implicated the Dutchman in covering up doping at the 1999 Tour de France.

"Since when do people believe Lance Armstrong?" Verbruggen wrote in a text message to NOS television network in the Netherlands. "Since he told Oprah Winfrey he had never 'sorted out' anything with the UCI? Or since he (for money!) makes films and gives interviews in which he apparently has to serve up juicy details?"

The Dutch official has not replied to messages from The Associated Press since Armstrong's allegations were published on Monday by Britain's Daily Mail.

Armstrong claimed Verbruggen insisted "we've got to come up with something" to explain the American's positive tests for a banned corticosteroid.

A backdated prescription for a saddle sores cream was accepted, allowing Armstrong to continue racing and win his first Tour, which revived cycling after doping scandals wrecked the 1998 race.

"His story is illogical because it was not about a positive/punishable act according to the anti-doping authority involved," wrote Verbruggen, adding that cycling's governing body did not have lead responsibility for anti-doping at the race 14 years ago.

"That authority was not the UCI but the French ministry. From accusations a year ago about large-scale complicity of the UCI in doping by Lance Armstrong and his team, we're now back to a cortisone case from 1999 that was not even handled by the UCI," said the former president, who stepped down in 2005 after Armstrong's seventh straight Tour victory.

Verbruggen, the UCI honorary president and IOC honorary member, is a likely target witness for an independent commission panel which the UCI is creating to investigate claims of collusion to protect Armstrong from scrutiny.

The UCI and World Anti-Doping Agency said in Johannesburg last week that the panel could begin work early next year.

Armstrong is expected to be the star witness and has suggested he wants a reduction in his lifetime ban imposed last year by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

Read more on:    uci  |  cycling

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Besides the 'Big 3' of rugby, cricket and soccer, which of the 'smaller' sports in South Africa do you enjoy the most?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.