UCI chief criticises predecessors for protecting Lance Armstrong

Armstrong could be a part of another legal battle soon

Geneva, March 9 (IANS): World Cycling governing body (UCI) president Brian Cookson said on Monday he will ask former chief Hein Verbruggen to give up his honorary presidency after a scathing report into the sport's doping culture revealed that the body colluded with and protected Lance Armstrong.

The 227-page report, published after a year-long probe, criticised Verbruggen and successor Pat McQuaid for letting doping flourish and breaking rules and covering up for the sport's star rider, reports Xinhua.

Cookson admitted cycling still has "an endemic problem of lower-level doping".

Cookson said Armstrong's first Tour de France win in 1999 was "an absolutely critical moment" in sending a message the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) was not serious about stopping doping.

The UCI chief questioned the claim of one witness in the report who suggested 90 percent of top-level riders still dope, but acknowledged "have not solved the problem".

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Edited by Staff Editor
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