Hein Verbruggen is hitting back at Lance Armstrong, after the defrocked cyclist made claims today that the former UCI president helped him cover up a positive test he had for cortisone back in the 1999 Tour de France.
Verbruggen, who is now chairman of the Olympic Broadcasting Service, and an honorary member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), attacked Armstrong’s credibility, after the American went public with his accusations during an interview with the media today.
“Since when does one believe Lance Armstrong?” Verbruggen wrote via SMS to Dutch TV station NOS. “When with Oprah Winfrey he said he never settled something with the UCI? Or since he (charges a fee!) makes movies and interviews and hints that there are juicy stories to come?
“His story is illogical because it was not a positive/anti-doping offence, in the opinion of the competent authority,” Verbruggen continued. “That authority was not the UCI, but the French Ministry. After allegations a year back of a large-scale complicity at the UCI over doping by Lance Armstrong and his team, we are now back to a cortisone-case from 1999 that wasn’t even from the UCI. Sincerely, Hein Verbruggen.”
Verbruggen was UCI president between 1991 and 2005. And, after, handing over power to his successor Pat McQuaid, Verbruggen has remained as “Honorary President” of the UCI, which affords him a seat on the Management Committee.
The IOC echoed Verbruggen’s sentiment of Armstrong’s credibility today as well.
"It is hard to give any credibility to the claims of a cyclist who appears to have misled the world for decades," read an IOC statement, according to AP. "That said, the UCI is currently working on plans to investigate the matter more thoroughly and we await proper considered outcomes."
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