COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (VN) — The Union Cycliste Internationale appears to have pulled an about-face regarding its interest in American riders Christian Vande Velde, Dave Zabriskie and Tom Danielson after their manager, Jonathan Vaughters, outed them as having used performance-enhancing drugs years ago.
The UCI was given the opportunity to interview the Garmin riders in the wake of the then-tidal Floyd Landis accusations but never did so in the more than two years that followed, according to Vaughters. Now, the governing body is asking for information on the three — all past teammates of Lance Armstrong — after Vaughters noted earlier this week in an online forum that the three had used PEDs.
In 2010, Vaughters practically implored that his riders cooperate with authorities on matters pertaining to doping, though the governing body never reached out.
“We expect anyone in our organization who is contacted by any cycling, anti-doping, or government authority will be open and honest with that authority. In that context, we expect nothing short of 100 percent truthfulness – whatever that truth is – to the questions they are asked,” a team statement read in 2010.
“As long as they express the truth about the past to the appropriate parties, they will continue to have a place in our organization and we will support them for living up to the promise we gave the world when we founded Slipstream Sports.”
Danielson, Zabriskie and Vande Velde are all said to have given testimony to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in regard to Armstrong, who abandoned his fight against wide-ranging doping charges in late August. USADA has asked that his seven Tour de France wins be stripped, and the UCI has said it may uphold the USADA action, pending review of the USADA material.
On Friday, UCI president Pat McQuaid said the international governing body wanted information on the Garmin riders so that the governing body could consider suspensions if merited.
When contacted by VeloNews as to why the UCI suddenly had an interest in the Garmins after having passed on them before, UCI communications director Enrico Carpani replied, “The only (thing) we can say at this stage is that we need to wait for the USADA file in order to establish if there are in it substantial evidences which could led UCI to initiate any action against those riders.”
USADA is expected to release its materials to the UCI soon, but CEO Travis Tygart has yet to respond to McQuaid’s request regarding the American riders.