Three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond has dubbed Pat McQuaid the “epitome of corruption” in urging him to quit as head of world cycling’s governing body the UCI in the wake of the Lance Armstrong doping affair.
“I want to tell the world of cycling to please join me in telling Pat McQuaid to resign,” LeMond said on his Facebook page. “I have never seen such an abuse of power in cycling’s history – resign Pat if you love cycling. Resign even if you hate the sport. Pat McQuaid, you know damn well what has been going on in cycling, and if you want to deny it, then even more reasons why those who love cycling need to demand that you resign.”
LeMond, who won the Tour in 1986, 1989 and 1990, called McQuaid and his predecessor as UCI chief, Hein Verbruggen, “the corrupt part of the sport… you and your buddy Hein have destroyed the sport”.
“It is time to walk away. Walk away if you love cycling. The problem for sport is not drugs but corruption. You are the epitome of the word corruption.”
McQuaid this week warned against blaming the sport’s authorities for doping scandals after Armstrong was banned for life and stripped of his seven Tour de France wins. Verbruggen has come under scrutiny for his role in the Armstrong affair as he was at the helm at the time of the shamed US rider’s consecutive wins in cycling’s most gruelling race between 1999 and 2005. In particular, Verbruggen has been accused of shielding the Texan amid claims he and US Postal Service teammates were tipped off about the arrival of dope testers and the UCI received a donation from Armstrong allegedly to cover up a positive test, but Verbruggen has denied the claims.
In his Facebook entry, LeMond also issued a supportive call for funds for Irish journalist Paul Kimmage’s legal battle with the UCI, the latter accusing the former professional cyclist of defamation after accusations of corruption. UCI and Kimmage, who used to work for Britain’s Sunday Times, have a court date in Switzerland on December 12.