Aigle - Doping remains an endemic problem, cycling chief Brian Cookson has
said on Monday after the publication of a damning independent report
accusing cycling's world body of turning a blind eye to drug cheat Lance
"I don't really believe 90% of the peloton are still
doping for instance as a witness says but I do believe there's still an
endemic problem of lower level doping," said Cookson, president of the
sport's ruling body the UCI.
"I believe efforts have been made to
tackle those problems, there have been major step forwards like the
biological passport," he added.
"It's now possible to compete in
professionnal cycling without doping. Nevertheless there's still a
problem there, clearly in any sport there are people trying to cheat and
we need to stop them and to protect riders who want to compete without
cheating, we have a lot more to do and we will continue."
was speaking after an independent commission accused former UCI
presidents Hein Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid of shielding disgraced
Armstrong from investigation.
Armstrong, who defeated cancer to
go on and win seven straight Tour de France races from 1999 to 2005, was
stripped of his titles in 2012 and banned from the sport for life. The
fallen US cycling hero, 43, now admits taking banned substances.
Cookson commentated: "The UCI management has changed, we no longer close our eyes to doping.
style of leadership of Hein Verbruggen is criticised in the report and
that style of leadership led to some of the major errors.
and the business of the sport were put before integrity and transparency
and honesty, that approach was taken too far."I hope these two won't
have any role in cycling in the future."