Wednesday, May 26, 2010

An Open Letter To The UCI President Pat McQuaid

Note : A gentleman on Cycling News' forums wrote the following, but it does not represent the views of CN itself. I'm helping to spread the word to other cycling fans, as I told him. The letter comes in direct response to McQuaid's statements today, denying using the money Armstrong "donated" in 2005 as bribe to cover up the latter's positive test in 2001. You guys must read this, as we're going through one of the biggest scandals in sports. NYT reports today that the investigations are going to broaden. Two unnamed individuals have already been contacted by investigators to exchange vital information in return for leniency.

Dear Pat,

As the cycling community is quite small, I have had the opportunity to meet with you over the years. I always admired your enthusiasm for the sport and your extensive knowledge of the sport in general.

Since the revelations made this week by Floyd Landis, the sport of cycling and the UCI of which you are President has come under immense scrutiny. The accusations that a positive drug test by Lance Armstrong was ignored in return for a financial settlement is deeply disturbing and a serious charge against the UCI.

In a radio interview on Friday you mentioned that Lance Armstrong had ‘donated’ $100,000 in 2005. You repeated those comments again today at the Giro d'Italia.

It seriously harms the reputation of this great sport that there still remains major discrepancies in your version of events.

At the Play The Game conference in October 2007 you said the $100,000 ‘cash’ came in to our account "in actual fact, about 15 months ago". (Audio here- second clip) This would be approximately July 2006 - which contradicts today's statements from you.

More alarmingly - July 2006 is only one month after the publication of the Vrijman report which cleared Mr Armstrong of facing sanction for having EPO in 6 urine samples that were retested in 2005.

With so many discrepancies I believe it is prudent that the UCI subject itself to a full independent financial audit.

I realize that this is a costly and time consuming process but it is one that the UCI must bare if it is to restore its faith in its members and the sporting community.

In a separate interview today former UCI member Sylvia Schenk said "the UCI was always very proud of its accounts".

This should mean that the UCI should be able to immediately release details of the transaction, UCI booking and machine purchased, before an audit gets underway.

I also believe that you need to consider your position at this point. In the interest of the sport of cycling, I respectfully suggest you stand down or stand aside while any investigation takes place – as I believe it would effect your ability to carry out the day to day duties of President.

If you feel that you should not stand down or stand aside then it is imperative that you clearly articulate the reasons for not doing so.

It is time to move along and begin the process of rebuilding the trust and credibility of this great sport.

- (Name and address with CyclingNews)

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A little about Pat McQuaid : Before his election, Irishman Pat McQuaid (a former racing cyclist from 1966-1982) fell out with Sylvia Schenk, a member of the UCI's management committee, who believed McQuaid was living off an expense account sanctioned by Verbruggen. [Source]

McQuaid joined the UCI's management committee in 1997 and six years later was nominated to take over from Verbruggen.

At the UCI Congress in Madrid on Sept. 23, 2005, 42 voting delegates gave him a 31-11 majority over challengers Darshan Singh and Gregorio Moreno.

McQuaid heads a 14-man committee that meets each January, June and September. For legal decisions, he depends on a team of five lawyers.

"In my 2 years on the board, there has never been a vote, everybody's agreed by consensus," McQuaid said once. "When it gets down to legal decisions it's the lawyers here that would advise me."

He sums up his role as being the "executive" who presides over the running of day-to-day business.

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