McQuaid claims Armstrong issue ‘is a thing of ten to fifteen years back’
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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

McQuaid claims Armstrong issue ‘is a thing of ten to fifteen years back’

by Shane Stokes at 5:56 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Says sport has suffered no negative effects at all of US Postal doping scandal

Pat McQuaidAlthough several anti-doping scientists have said that they believe there is strong proof that Lance Armstrong doped during his 2009 – January 2011 comeback, and despite the fact that the UCI has said that his biological passport post-March 2009 was never provided to experts to assess, the current UCI president Pat McQuaid has asserted that the Texan’s doping dates back a decade or more.

“First of all, doping is not confined to cycling only. See, the Armstrong issue is a thing of ten to fifteen years back,” he told reporters at the Asian Cycling Championship in India, according to the Daily Pioneer. “The products that were used fifteen years ago were undetectable. It was a difficult time for all of us.

“Now, we have upgraded our process and we are advancing day by day in that point. UCI is the only sporting federation in the world which has a foolproof bio-passport programme. So, our doping controlling programme is currently equipped to control the menace.”

McQuaid’s comments attract attention as they leave him open to claims of revisionism. The Texan admitted doping up to July 2005, eight years ago, which is more recently than McQuaid suggests. In addition, erratic blood values during 2009 and 2010 provide strong suspicion that he also used blood doping then, as does his continued contact with Michele Ferrari and his son.

Ferrari is the subject of numerous investigations, and didn’t dispute the charges of doping made against him by the US Anti-Doping Agency. As a result he has been given a lifetime ban from working with athletes by USADA.

The USADA case resulted in numerous negative headlines about the sport, as well as an explosive primetime Oprah Winfrey interview which saw Armstrong confess and say that the problem was pervasive throughout the sport and that it was necessary to dope to win. The sport has been hit by that, particularly in the US, where sponsors withdrew and teams folded.

However McQuaid rejects any suggestion that the sport has suffered. “We have moved on from that controversy. It was not at all a blow to cycling and I don’t see it has left any negative impact on the sport.

“Sport moves on without caring anything about an individual who was caught taking dope. And I don’t think that issue would be a deterrent for young cyclists to come into cycling. They should view today’s icons. Nowadays also, we have many brilliant athletes - Mark Cavendish, Bradley Wiggins - who can be their role models.”

McQuaid’s current term as UCI President will end this year. He is aiming to be re-elected for a third term in September.

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