Anderson vouches for LeMond’s integrity as a pro, says he could make solid interim UCI President
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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Anderson vouches for LeMond’s integrity as a pro, says he could make solid interim UCI President

by VeloNation Press at 7:23 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Australian believes Michael Ashenden could be more qualified for role

Phil AndersonPhil Anderson has said that he believes in the integrity of his past rival Greg LeMond, backing up suggestions that he won his three Tour de France titles clean.

The former pro was commenting in his online blog on about the American and his qualifications for the role of UCI president. LeMond said on Monday that he had been asked to stand for the position by the Change Cycling Now group, and that he would be interested in being an interim head of the UCI until somebody more suited to the position was in place.

“I know LeMond very well. He is passionate and one of the most naturally talented cyclists I have ever known,” wrote Anderson, himself one of Australia’s best-ever riders.

“While I was busting my arse, LeMond didn’t have to do much work – his raw talent was enough. Unlike Armstrong, he was not a ruthless team leader; he did not have to be.

“LeMond has raced at the highest level. He has been involved in business since his retirement, and has always been an advocate of clean cycling. I recall LeMond’s absolute stance against any medications during his career. He believed he would have won more Tours if it was a level playing field.

“He, like many cyclists, has had to deal with losses at the hands of the cheats. He, like many, chose not to take advice and gifts of treatments from soigneur’s “vitamins” – the contents of which were not known to him.”

Considering whether or not LeMond would be the right person for the job, Anderson noted that he had ‘campaigned long and hard’ against Armstrong, always believed that the Texan cheated, and had been outspoken about that fact.

“LeMond could be the right person to stand in the role until such time as the democratic elections are held for the position in the near future,” he stated.

Aftermath of USADA report:

As the dust settles on the thousand page reasoned decision against Armstrong released by USADA, there have been many calls for change within the UCI and cycling in general.

Anderson, who competed as a professional between 1980 and 1994 and took stages in the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia as well as the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Amstel Gold Race, believes that McQuaid and particularly the previous president Hein Verbruggen must to accept responsibility for their part in the scandal.

Both have however insisted that the UCI is faultless in the long-running doping by Armstrong and his teams.

“Should Pat McQuaid fall on his sword?” Anderson asked, pondering to what extent the UCI is to blame when compared to the individual riders and the team culture.

“Perhaps so, but unfortunately it would also seem that Verbruggen has a case to answer, and in fact, he remains the puppet master.

“Cycle sport is bigger now than ever, and as in any business, if confidence is questioned, the share holders call the shots and heads roll.”

Anderson stated that at the very least, McQuaid should stand aside until the independent commission looking into the UCI and its actions reaches a conclusion.

As for the Change Cycling Now of which LeMond is a member, Anderson said that he believed that the movement would more ideally be comprised of those from within the peloton rather than business chiefs and cycling stakeholders.

He cautioned against anyone wanting to completely overhaul the UCI structure. “As much as we criticize the UCI, there are many who work in the organization who can do the job,” he argued. “Heads at the top should fall but let’s not chop the UCI off at the knees.”

If there is indeed a new president, he believes that another member of Change Cycling Now could be more qualified than LeMond, who he suggested was willing to sacrifice friends ‘in his quest against Armstrong.’

His choice is the anti-doping scientist Michael Ashenden. “[He] has always worn his heart on his sleeve and is eminently qualified,” said Anderson.

“This would be my preferred choice as he knows how the UCI works at a professional level.”


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