UCI – Man up or shut up

In a classic case of passive aggression the UCI in their newsletter/blog defended their actions regarding the Alberto Contador/Clenbuterol case. The unnamed author of the editorial said, “Given the impressive progress that has been made in anti-doping programmes and, sadly, the ever-higher number of proceedings we have had to initiate in recent years against some of our sport’s biggest stars, it would be very interesting to know the names of these privileged riders who have enjoyed such favorable treatment.”

The author of the editorial actually starts his column called, “Consistency, Rigour and Serenity” with the statement, “According to a certain person who has a tendency to throw around certain accusations without the slightest effort to back them up, the UCI protects certain riders from the risk of failing a doping test.” It doesn’t take a whole lot of guessing to figure out the unknown UCI author is taking a swipe at our favorite bike racer/computer hacker Floyd Landis. So I gave Landis a call to see what he thought of the piece.

“Jesus,” said Landis, “that really hurt my feelings! I have no credibility? What, is that news?”

I know sarcasm and that was a healthy dose, but I pushed on. I asked him why did he think the UCI wrote this article but didn’t name you by person? Was it legal maneuvering to prevent you from suing the UCI?

“Are they afraid I’ll take ‘legal action’ action, but instead they wrote an editorial?”

The UCI was referring to this guy

Months ago Pat McQuiad stated the UCI was contemplating legal action due to the claims made by Landis. Now they’re reduced to blogging about it anonymously and not naming who the person is, “who lacks all credibility”? So I have to wonder, who has the upper hand in this situation – the UCI or Landis? The governing body has had to anonymously blog in fear of legal retribution while Landis is naming names and not surprisingly hasn’t been sued? Perhaps the reason Landis hasn’t been served papers is that he’s telling the truth and isn’t the crazed uni-bomber we might all hope he is?

So with Pat McQuiad stating that there isn’t going to be a resolution to the Contador fiasco this year was this some flaccid attempt to show that they are doing something in the fight against doping? By penning an unknown authored piece and taking a swipe at someone they won’t name but we all know who they are referring to is the way to show leadership? Is the governing body of our sport that weak that they are reduced to something that occurs in an unmoderated on-line forum?

This is my challenge to you, UCI: stand up and call people out for their crimes or shut the hell up and continue to suckle from the Armstrong teat of wealth. All I’m saying is pick a side and stick with it.

Word is coming to me that there is going to be quite the story in next Wednesday’s Sports Illustrated. I’m feeling that this isn’t going to be a happy Christmas for a few people.


  1. Dodger McDoo says:

    Agreed. You could step it up as well. Why don’t you do a sit down interview with Mr. Hincapie about PED use at Postal. Ask him how he used to be able to climb those cols with the dedicated climbers and still be there to launch the GC guy at the end? Yet has never been able been able to repeat those performances even in what should have been his peak years? How about you do that Neil? It would make for a great interview and a fantastic read.

    Bite that hand that feeds you?…yeah, I thought not. Hypocrite.

    • Neil says:

      Thanks for reading. I don’t ever remember George ascending with the GC climbers and launching them at the end. You do see George at the beginning of the first mountain climb of the stage dragging his GC guy to the front. Depending where the next col is located the riders of Hincapie’s size (Jens Voight comes to mind)recover on the descent and sometimes catch back on to repeat on the next col. Usually then it’s ciao. The one mountain stage that stands out is 2005 TdF to Pla d’Adet. But even that wasn’t a super display of climbing. He was part of a 14 man break that, as usual, went up the road early on the stage. Hincapie’s leader (Armstrong) was back in the peloton so George doesn’t have to pull and gets a free ride to the base of the last col. From there he hangs on and takes it over other riders that had been working in the break. Pretty standard race strategy. However if you can point me to a mountain stage that Hincapie climbed with the GC guys and launched them at the end please let me know. I did a quick look back through the records and his results in the Tour are consistent.

      Regarding interviewing George about that subject it would be the shortest interview ever. George, Tyler Hamilton and all the others called before the grand jury can’t comment on an on-going investigation. His responses would be “No comment” or “I can’t comment on an ongoing investigation.” That’s why those guys haven’t been interviewed anywhere about this subject. That’s just the reality right now of conducting an interview with anyone who has had to testify in front of a grand jury. Read the book “Game of Shadows” by Williams and Wada. It illustrates what goes on in that situation Or you can read my blog about it ( http://www.versus.com/blogs/the-experts-opinion/is-lance-armstrong-the-barry-bonds-of-cycling/ ).

      All that said perhaps I am a hypocrite. When I was the editorial director at ROAD we had a deal with Astana to get first crack at them regarding interviews and the such. Would we have written a bad word about them? Hell no! Having an Armstrong interview was magazine gold and ensured the life of the ROAD as well as my job. I also know from talking to my peers that they somewhat have their hands tied because someone like Armstrong welds a lot of power. If Armstrong hates a magazine he could say to a sponsor, “Stop running ads in magazine XYZ” and that would fold it. Ads are what keeps magazines printing. Also when writing for a magazine only what can be proved can be written, not what I suspect that the riders are doing. My blogs are opinion pieces that are not held up to the same requirement. This is all my opinion. But yeah, when I was writing this piece the thought did cross my mind and I have considered writing a piece about my own hypocrisy. A blog subject for another day…

      Thanks for reading.

  2. TheSwordsman says:

    Well said, or written. The UCI is all about smoke & mirrors & image. McQuaid & WADA feel the need to keep talking to the media about Contador even though it’s completely in the RFEC’s hands right now. I wonder if anyone actually reads the UCI blog or if someone was tipped to get the story out there? Anyway, the UCI lost the Vino case and the Pelizotti Bio Passport one (still waiting on an appeal decision since October). Caucchioli is up with CAS on Tuesday. No matter what he may or may not have done, there are a lot of educated people saying the Passport can’t be used to punish. It’s just the guys who don’t have money to fight that they can beat. If they would set up a spot on their website with just rider names & the dates of tests, & whether tests were passport only or for substances, I think it would change how we all look at the sport.

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