Call for UCI chief to act on Lance Armstrong doping affair after Nike drops him

File photograph of Lance Armstrong.
reuters

International Cycling Union chief Pat McQuaid must immediately make clear the governing body’s position on the Lance Armstrong doping affair or resign to prevent the collapse of world cycling, a commercial partner of the sport said on Thursday.

Australian Jaimie Fuller, whose SKINS company is a partner of the elite Rabobank team and Cycling Australia among others, has written an open letter to McQuaid warning of catastrophic consequences of the body’s “inertia”.

The UCI has yet to rule on the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s report into Armstrong, which alleges that the now retired seven-times Tour de France champion achieved his success on the back of a highly sophisticated doping scheme.

“I’m just devastated and horrified by what has happened,” Fuller told Reuters by telephone on Thursday.

“The initial response of the UCI to USADA was defensive and questioning not cooperative and the longer the subsequent silence goes on it’s getting much worse for the sport of cycling.

“I’m an optimist and I would desperately hope that common sense would see the light of day.

“(But) if Mr McQuaid and his cohorts are not prepared to say what they are going to do about this systemic issue, to rip the scabs off of what has happened, there is no question they should resign.”

The UCI, who can either confirm Armstrong’s life ban and strip him of his seven Tour titles or take the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, have until October31 to rule on the case.

FESTINA AFFAIR

Sportswear manufacturer Nike Inc and beer maker Anheuser-Busch have both decided to terminate their relationships with Armstrong in the wake of the report.

Fuller warned the commercial impact would go beyond the American and could dwarf the damage the sport suffered in the wake of the Festina team doping scandal of 1998.

“It happened at the end of the 90s with the Festina affair, to the point where German television refused to show the Tour de France,” Fuller said.

“There’s no question that there was a commercial hit that happened to the sport of cycling. I genuinely believe that what we’re seeing now is way worse.

“When Armstrong was winning, when he was doing unbelievable things, the glow he cast across the whole sport was fabulous. Now, we’re going to see the exact reverse.”

Fuller said SKINS, which produces therapeutic compression clothing for athletes, would have to reconsider its association with cycling if the UCI failed to act.

“I’m really most concerned with the impact on the popularity of cycling,” he said.

“That has both an emotional impact on those who love the sport as well as a commercial impact on we businesses who are involved in the sport.

“Our whole brand is built on the philosophy of integrity in sport. We enable relationship with lead athletes around the world on those grounds and we also enter into relationships with consumers with those beliefs.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Bloomberg: Going green will grant you longer life…

Former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg tells Metro that cities are where fighting global warming can make a difference, and increase people’s lifespan.

International

Ban Ki Moon: "Climate change is an issue…

My message to you is: make your voice heard and your actions count. Change is in the air. Solutions exist. The race is on. It’s time to lead.

Local

Earth Day New York food toolkits to help…

Hundreds of classrooms across New York City already have indoor container gardens that allow students to grow food right where they learn. But Earth Day…

Local

NYPD announces street closures for United Nations General…

The United Nations representatives are in town, and multiple city streets will be closed to traffic through Saturday, Sept. 26. The NYPD is urging those…

Television

10 Facts you won’t learn about Frankie Grande…

Frankie Grande is the worst and/or the best. Whether or not you're a fan, you'll want to know these facts about the polarizing player from "Big Brother 16."

Movies

Antoine Fuqua can kill someone with just a…

It's amazing what you can get done with the right tools. In designing the climactic battle in "the Equalizer," in which Denzel Washington's retired special…

Movies

Guess Ben Kingsley's worst filmmaking experience

Here's a fun game: Sir Ben Kingsley has made a lot of films since "Gandhi" in 1982, but at least one of them was a…

Books

Does Lena Dunham have any secrets left?

Get a sneak peek at her new book to determine if it’s worth the read.

NFL

3 things that went wrong in Jets loss…

The Jets have very little room for error with a far-from-explosive offense.

NFL

Eli Manning finally feeling good in West Coast…

The Giants have very little time before their next game, but they still took a moment to relish the team’s biggest offensive outburst since Week 1 of 2013.

College

College football top 25 poll: Oregon, Alabama close…

College football top 25 poll: Oregon, Alabama close in on FSU

NFL

Jay Cutler takes Marc Trestman's coaching to heart

While Jay Cutler turned to an autobiography on the man who would be his head coach, Trestman had personal experience with the player.

Wellbeing

5 gadgets to protect you from sharks, concussions,…

The medical industry is inundated with devices looking after all aspects of your wellbeing, from monitoring your sleep patterns to warding off shark attacks. We…

Wellbeing

Narcissism and the ugly side of vanity

I have a friend who constantly talks about herself and rarely asks any questions about my life. She is constantly preening, obsessed with her body,…

Wellbeing

Lacking new ideas, Apple Watch disappoints health experts

Technology pundits were quick to predict the demise of most fitness wristbands and smartwatches when the Apple Watch was announced. But health care professionals and…

Style

Sarah Doukas on social media, models and diversity

The maker of Kate Moss tells Metro how social media can drive the diversity change in the fashion industry.