Category Archives: Cycling

More Problems for UCI – Olympic Champion Under Investigation for Alleged “Race-Fixing”

As a follow on to my earlier post about the action threatened by Jaimie Fuller of SKINS against the UCI, I see further news which can only add to the problems the governing body of world cycling must face, together with its embattled leaders, Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen.

The UCI announced yesterday that, as a result of receiving a file from the Italian public prosecutor, it has now commenced an investigation into “race fixing”.

The investigation concerns allegations that Olympic champion Alexandre Vinokourov of Kazakhstan bribed Russian Alexandre Kolobnev to win the 2010 Liege-Bastogne-Liege race.

Mr McQuaid, President of the UCI, was quoted as saying, “Now, in the light of this additional information we received last week from the Italian prosecutor we are opening an investigation into the matter.” Continue reading

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Trouble For Cycling’s UCI – Sponsor Seeks Damages For UCI Not Stopping Armstrong

Jaimie Fuller’s business philosophy is, according to an interview published on dynamicbusiness.co.au, as follows:-

“to bite off more than you can chew and chew like buggery.”

He is the Chairman of SKINS, the global compression sportswear manufacturer.

Yesterday the Australian entrepreneur released a statement about action taken by his company against cycling’s world ruling body, the UCI. His company’s action could have implications the world over in relation to sporting events and their sponsors. Mr Fuller seems to be living up to his motto!

What are SKINS doing?

They have demanded that the UCI pay “damages of $2 million as a consequence of alleged mis-management in the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.”

SKINS has supported cycling with financial support of the sport, teams and riders over the last five years. It boasts of having “invested heavily into research and development to build a sports-specific product range aimed at those who participate at every level.”

Mr Fuller states:-

We did all this while under the impression that cycling had been fundamentally reformed after the Festina affair in the ‘90’s and that co-ordinated management from the UCI to contain doping activity had minimised the risks and scandals with which the brand of any sponsor would be associated. Continue reading

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The UCI Acts “Decisively” Over Lance Armstrong – Stable Doors Will Be Addressed Next

It is not just the football authorities who seem to drag their feet and shuffle ineffectually over serious issues in sport. The UCI has been struggling to deal with the aftermath of USADA releasing its 1,000-page report into the systematic cheating of Lance Armstrong following his decision no longer to contest doping charges.

Yesterday the UCI issued a press release.

It goes under the heading of “UCI takes decisive action in wake of Lance Armstrong affair”.

That title follows in a long line of such headings, such as “Titanic captain takes decisive action over iceberg” “Farmer takes decisive action over stable door and empty stable” and “Small umbrella takes decisive action over hurricane”.

The UCI has been accused of complicity in Armstrong’s cheating, and in fact until today was continuing to pursue defamation proceedings against Paul Kimmage, pro cyclist turned journalist, over his allegations that the UCI failed to act in connection with massive doping throughout the sport.

The press release is below, and my comments are in bold. Continue reading

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If Not Armstrong, Who Won the Tour De France (Or Tour D’Utopia) From 1999 to 2005?

Lance Armstrong finished first, but, as long as the USADA gets its way, his wins will be stricken from the record.

The UCI does not seem to want to change the record books though. This issue could be fought tooth and nail through the Court of Arbitration for Sport over the coming months and indeed years.

I thought I would have a look at the seven Tours won by Armstrong and see who should succeed to the title.

I think most observers would agree that it would almost negate any value in having “caught” Armstrong if, for example, any of the titles passed to Jan Ullrich.

In the ideal world (which we all know does not exist) the UCI would want the “tainted titles” to go to riders whose reputations were unblemished – who had no issues about performance enhancing drugs, EPOs, HGH, blood doping etc. No mention of a rider below is to imply, in the absence of a “conviction” that they were a doper, but rather that they fall short, however slightly, of a squeaky clean and unblemished reputation. Continue reading

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Should Sporting Record Books Be Altered? The Lance Armstrong Conundrum

Lance Armstrong is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable sportsmen the world has ever seen. Not only did he win seven consecutive Tours de France, but he did so after recovering from cancer. He was given a less than 50% chance of survival, but recovered to win over and over again probably the most arduous major sporting event in the world.

His reign from 1999 to 2005 left few neutral. Many saw him as a heroic figure – showing that cancer did not mean the end of a useful life and that sufferers could throw off the disease, and excel in what they did. He set up a foundation which has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for cancer research and to help cancer sufferers and their families. You can read more about Livestrong here.

As well as doing all of that, he was able to pedal up, over and down the mountains and plains of France faster than anyone else. He could only be Superman! Continue reading

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