The UCI, in a front page editorial in the latest edition of its Velo World magazine, takes issue with Floyd Landis’ charge that the organization gives favorable treatment to some cyclists.
The unsigned editorial, titled “Consistency, Rigour and Serenity,” does not name Landis, but leaves little doubt that it is referring to him.
“According to a certain person who has a tendency to throw around serious accusations without the slightest evidence to back them up, the UCI protects certain riders from the risk of failing a doping test. … it would be very interesting to know the names of these privileged riders who have enjoyed such favourable treatment,” the article reads.
In an interview with the German state television channel ARD last month, Landis charged that current UCI president Pat McQuaid and his predecessor Hein Verbruggen “have protected some people and not others.”
“As far as the UCI is concerned, nothing about a cover-up or taking a bribe or some kind of race results manipulation would surprise me,” Landis said in the interview.
Days later, McQuaid told the Ireland’s Independent newspaper that he was considering legal action against Landis for making the charges. McQuaid has noted that the UCI and the World Anti-Doping Association receive doping test results simultaneously, so it would be impossible for one body to independently cover up a positive.
Landis’ claims in the German interview varied only slightly from the charges he made in May, when he said that Lance Armstrong had bribed the UCI with a donation to cover up a positive test.
Armstrong denied the charge and the UCI issued a press release denying it. At the time McQuaid said a 2005 donation from Armstrong did not create a conflict of interest, but McQuaid said that in hindsight he might have declined the donation.
The Velo World editorial concludes by pointing to the UCI’s handling of Alberto Contador’s positive doping test as evidence that no rider gets special treatment.
“The consistency, rigour and serenity that governed the inquiry, conducted in close cooperation with the World Anti-Doping Agency, into the abnormal test results of the triple Tour de France winner, should offer the most telling guarantee of our commitment to eradicate doping, regardless of the low levels of product detected, regardless of all the possible justifications, regardless of the rider’s impressive record, and regardless of the additional negative consequences for cycling.”