UCI PRESIDENT PAT McQuaid has claimed that there is “no hard evidence” that Lance Armstrong doped after making his cycling comeback in 2009.
Australian Institute of Sport head of physiology Professor Christopher Gore previously claimed that the chances of him not doping after his comeback were “less than one in a million”.
However, in an interview with Newstalk, McQuaid emphasised that Gore’s analysis was just one person’s opinion and added:
“Eight experts – independent of UCI – from the Athlete Passport Management Unit in Lausanne looked it up and didn’t flag anything up.”
Nevertheless, he explained that he “couldn’t say categorically” whether or not Armstrong doped after his comeback.
McQuaid also said the UCI “didn’t hide” Armstrong’s infamous donation to the organisation, describing how they issued a press release at the time, and also pointed out that WADA recently accepted €300,000 from the Russian government.
On the subject of the organisation’s failure to catch Armstrong doping initially, McQuaid said:
“All we could do was target test the athlete and it came back negative.
“We work within the rules. What Cookson states [on anti-doping] is outside the rules. The WADA code states that every international federation is responsible for the anti-doping in its international events. You can’t do it independently.”
In relation to his upcoming campaign to continue for another term as UCI President, McQuaid claimed his nomination from the Swiss Cycling Federation is secure and suggested senior UCI directors Mike Plant and Brian Cookson are working in unison against him.
The UCI boss indicated his campaign “hasn’t really started” as he has been busy with other work and claimed he “hasn’t a clue” what’s in the apparently damning recent dossier on him, compiled by Plant.