PAUL KIMMAGE SAYS he has conflicting emotions after today’s announcement by the International Cycling Union (UCI).
The governing body revealed that they will support USADA’s decision to back Lance Armstrong’s lifetime ban and strip him of seven Tour de France titles.
At the press conference in Geneva, UCI president Pat McQuaid insisted there is “no place in cycling” for Armstrong in response to the USADA dossier released earlier this month.
Kimmage, who the UCI are taking legal action against over the journalist’s claims that the body helped Armstrong cover up a positive dope test, said while he is satisfied with the decision to erase the Texan’s career, he is sickened that McQuaid nor the UCI are not taking any responsibility.
“When I listened to that press conference, I got conflicting emotions,” Kimmage told Matt Cooper on The Last Word.
Absolute rage at the brass neck of McQuaid and his cohorts, and also a huge sense of deflation and disappointment because what was totally obvious today was the absolute certainty that whatever happens Pat McQuaid is not responsible, that Hein Verbruggen his predecessor is not responsible and that nothing that happens on Friday or in the next five years is going to change that.
“The message that Paul McQuaid is sending out is that it’s business as usual here.
“They want to do with Lance Armstrong like they’ve done with everybody who has ever spoken out against doping or been convicted of doping in the history of the sport and that is get them under the carpet as quickly as possible and not address how this happened or the role they played in it happening.
“What I found most interesting in what he said was in trying to renege on the responsibility that he and his governing body share. He said ‘we didn’t have the tools to address this’.
“What were the tools USADA had? They had the testimonies of 11 of Lance Armstrong’s team-mates. There was no science involved, that’s what it was.”
Talking to Newtalk’s Off The Ball, Kimmage said that the only thing for Armstrong to do now is come clean.
“He’s got one option – to tell the truth and confess. They (the UCI) are gambling on the fact that he won’t. I think he could say a lot and paint a very clear picture about how this happened. It would help a lot if he made a confession.
What turned him into this monster because that’s what he is. How did it start? Because I don’t think he came into the sport wanting to dope.”
Kimmage added that the story had cost him his job as a journalist as he was looked upon as “trouble” by the industry.
Both McQuaid and Verbruggen have filed a legal petition against the Dubliner and are seeking damages of €6,600. And while Kimmage said he was disappointed that the legal action has not be dropped, branding it a “pain”, he added the he will do everything in his power to meet it head-on.
“I intend to go to Switzerland with every means at my disposal to take the fight to him. I intend to fill a jumbo jet and bring them there.”