LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AFP) — International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge reiterated his confidence in Pat McQuaid, president of cycling’s governing body, the UCI, on Wednesday.
McQuaid and his predecessor Hein Verbruggen have been in the spotlight over the Lance Armstrong doping scandal, with increasing pressure on them to clarify how much they knew, and whether or not his doping test results were suppressed.
Rogge stood by McQuaid and expressed his hope that the UCI and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) would mend their differences in what has become an increasingly unseemly war of words.
“We have confidence in Mr. McQuaid and his role as president of the UCI,” the 70-year-old Belgian told a press conference after a meeting of the 15-member IOC Executive Board. “There is an ongoing discussion between the World Anti-doping Agency and the UCI. We call on both parties to reconcile and to find a solution to this crisis together.”
Rogge had told AFP in January that he would not comment on either McQuaid or Verbruggen’s position. “Calls for a resignation are not valid until there is solid proof,” he said. “First investigate and make a judgement, then carry out the punishment. Not in the reverse order.”
McQuaid and the UCI were widely criticized for disbanding its own independent commission into the Armstrong scandal at the end of January.
The UCI president since 2005, McQuaid said the commission was being scrapped in favor of a “truth and reconciliation process” (TRC), which had the support of WADA. However WADA president John Fahey denied it, accusing the UCI of being “determined to apparently deflect responsibility for the doping problem in its sport to others.”