EARLIER TODAY, UCI President Pat McQuaid gave his first major radio interview since the world body stripped disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles.
Here are some of the “highlights” from the Dubliner’s appearance on the Pat Kenny Show on RTÉ Radio 1. You can listen to the full 27 minutes of the interview here >
1. On why Armstrong was able to dodge punishment for years:
The fact of the matter is that at that time, the tools which we had to fight doping were very limited.
2. On Dick Pound’s assertion that it is not credible UCI did not know about Armstrong doping:
The UCI tested Lance Armstrong 218 times. USADA, the US Anti-Doping Agency, state on their website that they tested him 52 times. WADA themselves tested him on many occasions. All of these results were negative.
3. On Tyler Hamilton:
This is a guy who spent four years in front of one court after another trying to claim that he was born with a twin or something like that which caused his system or his bloods to be such and such that he was caught positive. He spent four years defending himself telling lies.
4. On Hamilton’s allegations of a cover-up between UCI and Armstrong:
The point is, there was nothing to take care of. How is he saying that he took care of something when there was nothing to take care of? There has been no positive test. Braggard talk between cyclists out on a bike maybe.
5. On integrity:
There’s plenty of integrity left in the UCI.
6. On comments made by UCI honorary president Hein Verbruggen:
He’s not involved in the UCI. He hasn’t come to a board meeting since 2008. I run the UCI, I’m President of the UCI, I chair the UCI board meetings and I run the show. Hein Verbruggen has nothing to do with it.
7. On a 2007 donation from Armstrong to UCI:
His career was over at that stage. On reflection — and I’ve stated this as well at press conferences over the past years — on reflection, the UCI might have been as well not accepting that money.
8. On Emma O’Reilly’s allegation that Armstrong used a back-dated prescription to dodge a positive test:
We interviewed Armstrong about it [rather than O'Reilly]. Again, there’s nothing to interview about. In our documentation yesterday… we explain quite clearly why that was not a positive sample.
9. On Armstrong’s future in cycling:
What I said is Lance Armstrong is not welcome in the sport of cycling. If he decides to earn a living through the sport of cycling, legally there’s nothing we can do to stop him. We can make him unwelcome, but there’s nothing we can do to stop him.
10. On a possible doping amnesty:
I have called a special management committee meeting next Friday and I’m prepared to re-open the discussion and discuss it again and see where we go.
11 & 12. On resigning:
In relation to resigning, I’ve no intention of resigning. I’m elected by 175 national federations around the world to work on behalf of the sport and work on behalf of them. That’s what I do and that’s what I’ll continue to do until they decide otherwise. It’s not journalists in Ireland or journalists in Britain who will decide whether I stay in this sport or not.
I’m here working for today’s cyclists and tomorrow’s cyclists. The past we’re dealing with, we dealt with yesterday, and that will be history next week.
13. On UCI’s defamation lawsuit against Paul Kimmage:
This is to do with a journalist who went over the line and who called me corrupt.
14. On cycling:
I certainly feel it’s a lot cleaner than it was. The fans, the experts on the ground will tell you that it’s a lot cleaner that it was. The riders will tell you that it’s a lot cleaner.