Following Floyd Landis’ accusation that Lance Armstrong bribed the UCI to cover up a positive test for EPO during the 2001 Tour de Suisse, today UCI president Pat McQuaid publicly denied the allegations.Â He added that no riders from that event tested positive for EPO.
The “bribe” in question refers to a $100,000 donation pledged to the UCI by Armstrong in 2002, though the money was not received until 2005.Â The UCI used the funds to purchase a Sysmex blood testing machine, which is still in use today.
“Lance and Johan (Bruyneel) were visiting the UCI headquarters in 2002 just after it opened. They got a guided tour of what weâ€™re doing there, so in that context, Lance offered $100,000 to help in the aid and development of cycling. The UCI decided to use that money to buy a Sysmex machine, which we purchased some time afterward,â€ McQuaid said. â€œI donâ€™t believe there is a conflict of interest. The machine is still in use today and we test riders before the grand tours. If there is money left over, it is still in the UCI account.â€
Even if the money were a bribe, McQuaid said it would be impossible to cover up a positive test because anti-doping tests are carried out by multiple independent laboratories in Switzerland and France, and that positive results are shared immediately and simultaneously with UCI officials, French and Swiss cycling federations and the IOC, followed by WADA.
VeloNews has some other great quotes from the press conference, and the official press release is after the break…
UCI Press Release, May 25 2010: Floyd Landisâ€™s accusations: clarifications from the UCI
Due to the controversy following the statements made by Floyd Landis, the International Cycling Union wishes to stress that none of the tests revealed the presence of EPO in the samples taken from riders at the 2001 Tour of Switzerland. The UCI has all the documentation to prove this fact.
Between 2001 and 2003, only the Paris, Lausanne, Cologne, Barcelona and Madrid laboratories, commissioned by the UCI, detected the presence of EPO in the samples that had been entrusted to them for analysis. During this period, the first laboratory carried out three positive analyses for EPO, the second 18 and the three last laboratories one each. None of the samples concerned had been taken at the 2001 Tour of Switzerland.
The International Olympic Committee received a copy of all the reports for the positive analyses mentioned above. Furthermore, in 2001, all the analysis reports carried out at the Tour of Switzerland were sent to Swiss Olympic.
Since 1st January 2004, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) receives a copy of any analysis reports which show an abnormal result. WADA has not reported any abnormal analyses from any of its accredited laboratories that have not been duly dealt with by the UCI.
The UCI wishes to reassert the total transparency of its anti-doping testing and categorically rejects any suspicion in relation to the concealment of results from parties involved in this field.
…and prior to that, they issued this one:
UCI Press Release, May 20 2010: UCI rejects accusations by Floyd Landis
The International Cycling Union (UCI) categorically rejects accusations made by Mr Floyd Landis, in particular the allegation that a positive doping result by Lance Armstrong during the 2002 Tour of Switzerland was concealed after an agreement was reached between the American rider, his directeur sportif Mr Johan Bruyneel and the former UCI President, Mr Hein Verbruggen.
Deeply shocked by the gravity of this statement, which considerably impinges on the honour of all persons who have dedicated themselves to the fight against doping, the UCI wishes to clearly state that it has never changed or concealed a positive test result.
The accusation by Mr Floyd Landis, guilty himself of a breach of the Anti-Doping Rules in 2006, is thus completely unfounded and the UCI can only express its outrage at this new attempt to harm the image of cycling. Our sport has long paid a heavy price for the fraudulent behaviour of individuals such as Floyd Landis and we cannot accept the principles governing our work being challenged in terms of their ethics and honesty by a person who has not hesitated to breach such principles.
By way of information, the UCI would like to point out that Lance Armstrong did not participate in the 2002 Tour of Switzerland.
Finally, the UCI wishes to make clear that it will undertake all necessary measures to defend its honour as well as the honour of all its executives who have been unfairly accused by Mr Floyd Landis.