BOULDER, Colorado (VN) — For the UCI, the hits just keep coming.
The beleaguered Union Cycliste Internationale is taking another beating in the courts of media and public opinion, this time at the hands of Greg LeMond, the only American to ever win the Tour de France.
LeMond’s open letter to UCI President Pat McQuaid, accusing the sport’s governing body’s top brass of deep corruption, circulated around the web Thursday.
“The problem for sport is not drugs but corruption. You are the epitome of the word corruption,” LeMond wrote. “You can read all about Webster’s definition of corruption. If you want, I can re-post my attorney’s response to your letter where you threaten to sue me for calling the UCI corrupt. FYI I want to officially reiterate to you and Hein (Verbruggen) that in my opinion the two of you represent the essence of corruption.”
When contacted by VeloNews on Thursday, a UCI spokesperson declined to comment on LeMond’s charges.
At present, the cycling world is akin to a rowdy bar, with insults and screams tossed into the air at will toward the UCI as the Lance Armstrong scandal burns brightly, and many say the UCI knew of doping transgressions and did little to stop them. Recently, the UCI won a lawsuit in Swiss court against American Floyd Landis that, among other things, prohibits him from calling UCI management “terrorists” and claiming McQuaid and his predecessor, Hein Verbruggen took bribes to cover up positive tests.
McQuaid has acknowledged that the UCI received a $100,000 donation from Armstrong in 2005, following a pledge to do so in 2002. Landis and Tyler Hamilton have alleged that Armstrong made the payment in exchange for the UCI covering up a failed doping control at the 2001 Tour de Suisse. McQuaid and Verbruggen will go to court with journalist Paul Kimmage over the same accusations in December.
LeMond held no punches in his letter, making six references to “corrupt,” or “corruption” regarding McQuaid and Verbruggen.
“I want to tell the world of cycling to please join me in telling Pat McQuaid to f##k off and resign. 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,” LeMond wrote. “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.”