Drug cheat Lance Armstrong's doping programme bore testimony to the disgraced cycling champion's win-at-all-costs attitude, the head of the International Cycling Union (UCI), Pat McQuaid, said on Monday.
Geneva: Drug cheat Lance Armstrong's doping programme bore testimony to the disgraced cycling champion's win-at-all-costs attitude, the head of the International Cycling Union (UCI), Pat McQuaid, said on Monday.
Story first published on: Monday, 22 October 2012 18:25
"We're looking at an enormous, sophisicated doping programme. It was win-at-all costs," said the Irishman, who took over the UCI presidency shortly after the US rider's seventh and final Tour de France win.
The UCI said it would not contest sanctions already handed down by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), stripping the cancer survivor of all of his results since August 1998 and earning him a ban for life.
Many of Armstrong's former staff and team-mates testified against the Texan, and while McQuaid thanked them for speaking out, he said he was horrified to read the USADA report.
"I have to say and admit, as a (former) cyclist and coming from a cycling family, I was sickened by what I read in the USADA report," he told a news conference in Geneva.
In particular, he said he was baffled that someone like Armstrong's former team-mate David Zabriskie could be pressured into taking performance-enhancing drugs.
"The way he was coerced and forced into doping is just mind-boggling. I just found it hard to understand," said McQuaid.
McQuaid said the UCI would now convene its management committee to discuss how to deal with issues including the re-attribution of titles and prize money from races.
But he hit out at those who had benefited financially from cheating.
"A lot of them (cyclists and teams) made a lot of money out of their cheating at the time," he added. "None of them has apologised to the UCI, to the sport, to the fans or to the stakeholders.
"None of them are offering that money back to the organisers. These guys have cheated and I feel sorry for the guys who raced clean. They must be sore now, and I empathise with these guys," he added. "They have every right to be sore."
Asked about the legacy of Armstrong, McQuaid said: "Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling. He deserves to be forgotten in cycling."