Lance Armstrong accuses former UCI chief of doping coverup

Lance Armstrong is threatening to release further damning information about the UCI.
Lance Armstrong is pointing fingers elsewhere with regards to doping. (Getty Images)

The Lance Armstrong doping scandal took years to come out into the open, and it doesn't appear that the issue will resolve quietly.

In an interview with Britain's Daily Mail released Monday, Armstrong accused former International Cycling Union (UCI) boss Hein Verbruggen of orchestrating a coverup of Armstrong's positive doping test before the rider's involvement in the 1999 Tour de France.

According to Armstrong in the Daily Mail story, Verbruggen said that they "needed to come up with something" after Armstrong tested positive for a banned corticosteroid.

"The real problem was, the sport was on life support," Armstrong said. "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."

Armstrong went on to say that he planned to release more detailed information about the way the UCI operated in hopes of receiving leniency on his lifetime cycling ban.

"To think I am protecting any of these guys after the way they treated me, that is ludicrous. I'm not protecting them at all. I have no loyalty towards them," Armstrong told the paper. "I'm not going to lie to protect these guys. I hate them. They threw me under the bus. I'm done with them."

In a statement released Monday, the UCI said it planned to further investigate the matter.

"The UCI's Independent Commission of Inquiry is in the process of being set up and we are in advanced discussions with stakeholders on its terms of reference to allow full investigation of any allegations relating to doping and wrongdoing at the UCI. 

"The commission will invite individuals to provide evidence and we would urge all those involved to come forward and help the commission in its work in the best interests of the sport of cycling.

"This investigation is essential to the well-being of cycling in fully understanding the doping culture of the past, the role of the UCI at that time and helping us all to move forward to a clean and healthy future."

Herbruggen has not commented on these new allegations, though he did distance himself from any sort of doping coverups earlier this month.

"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 -- he UCI and myself have been involved in covering up positive tests. 

"Coverups never took place."

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