Lance Armstrong and UCI ‘colluded to bypass doping accusations’

A damning report published on Monday shows how cycling’s world governing body, the UCI*, colluded with Lance Armstrong from 1999 to 2009 to circumvent accusations he doped and to cement his status as the pre-eminent personality in the sport.

The report reads: “There are numerous examples that prove Lance Armstrong benefited from a preferential status afforded by the UCI leadership … UCI did not actively seek to corroborate whether allegations of doping against Lance Armstrong were well-founded [but] fell back to a defensive position as if every attack against Lance Armstrong was an attack against cycling and the UCI leadership … there was a tacit exchange of favours between the UCI leadership and Lance Armstrong, and they presented a common front.”

The tone was set at the episode in the 1999 Tour de France when Armstrong’s doctors provided a backdated prescription for cortisone after he tested positive for the drug. “The UCI failed to apply its own rules … which constituted a serious breach of its obligations … to govern the sport correctly,” states the report…


*UCI: Union Cycliste International

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  • FactsWillOut

    Doping shouldn’t be against the rules in the first place.

    • Brett_McS

      Indeed. Good climbers who tried to ride clean would see sprinters blow past them on the mountain stages. Though whether it just becomes a race determined by who has the best doctors is another question.

    • Frau Katze

      It’s dangerous for one thing. Not good for one’s health.

      • Hard Little Machine

        There’s a reasonable probability that his drug taking caused his cancer in the first place.

      • FactsWillOut

        The fact that a given behavior is dangerous is no reason to ban it.

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    After Lance Armstrong won it the third time in a row in the early 2000’s I was thinking that there was something up.
    That was tempered by the knowledge that he was at that time the most closely watched cyclist in the history of the sport.
    By 2006 I was convinced that he was somehow gaming the system and was cheating at a level that was higher than they were looking for in the tests.
    Now we know that he was in collusion with the very authorities that were supposed to be watching him.
    This is a lesson I have observed repeatedly over the years since I have become an adult.
    When someone’s performance is so outside the bell curve that they go beyond being an outlier, you can rest assured that they are either gaming the system or outright cheating. I have seen this pattern repeated over and over in sales, and all manner of other areas, and in the end, there has always been cheating and deception involved, yet everyone pretends not to have been aware while it was going on.

    • Brett_McS

      Every single professional cyclist does the same; it is just that Armstrong had the best (an Italian scientist called Ferrari). And he had the best because Ferrari saw in him the greatest potential (huge heart and lungs) for making the most of his special skills.

      • Drunk_by_Noon

        Lance had massive potential, true!
        The problems I have with artificial enhancement of athletes is that once one athlete does it, everyone has to do it to remain competitive.
        In most instances there are serious health consequences to doing those things. Maybe not doping (that we know of yet) but certainly steroid use.
        With cycling, it looks like all of the competitive cyclists WERE cheating, but ‘Team Lance’ was just the best at it.

        • Brett_McS

          Oh, the health affects of doping are well known. Many professional cycles have died of a heart attack in their sleep – because the blood is too thick and too difficult to pump, so the heart just stops

          Perhaps the newer doping is safer, but professional cyclists will risk it regardless.

  • Edubeat

    Once a psychopath always a psychopath…Lance should know!

  • Brett_McS

    I watched The Armstrong Lie a few days ago. The ICU head was good friends with all the top riders and would drop a hint to them when the testing showed they were sailing close to the wind. (“Just back off a bit”). Armstrong, especially, brought in millions of dollars to the sport (probably billions). They weren’t going to let that cash-cow go down over some ‘technicality’.

    • Frau Katze

      I see. So big money was at stake. I’m not very familiar with the sport.

      • Brett_McS

        The Armstrong Story (which is in itself amazing, with his battle against cancer and all) turned Trek bicycles, who sponsored him, from a $100 million business to a $1 billion/year business overnight.

  • Hard Little Machine

    It turns out in the earlier phases of his career he paid other riders to throw races too.