Lance Armstrong Claims Former UCI President Verbruggen Covered Up Doping Scandal
LANCE ARMSTRONG claims former Int'l Cycling Union President HEIN VERBRUGGEN "instigated a cover-up of his doping at the 1999 Tour de France," according to the AP. Armstrong said Verbruggen insisted "we've got to come up with something" to explain his positive tests for a banned corticosteroid. The UCI "appeared to ignore its own anti-doping rules when it accepted Armstrong's backdated prescription for a cream to treat saddle sores." Armstrong: "The real problem was, the sport was on life support. And Hein just said, 'This is a real problem for me, this is the knockout punch for our sport ... so we've got to come up with something.' So we backdated the prescription" (AP, 11/19). REUTERS reported Verbruggen "could be summoned before an independent anti-doping commission." Verbruggen, an honorary member of the IOC, "has denied wrongdoing." In a letter to Olympic officials, Verbruggen wrote, "I have been frequently accused that, in my UCI presidency, my federation would not have been too serious in its anti-doping policy and that -- in particular the Lance Armstrong case -- the UCI and myself have been involved in covering up positive tests. Cover-ups never took place" (REUTERS, 11/18).