The Dutchman Hein Verbruggen, former president and current honorary president of the world cycling association UCI, has in an interview with the British daily newspaper The Telegraph vehemently rejected the allegations made by confessed doping offender Lance Armstrong. Armstrong, like Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton before him, publicly accused Verbruggen of covering up positive findings during his tenure.
"[Former UCI President] Pat McQuaid said of Armstrong that he has no place in cycling anymore", according to Verbruggen. "I would not go so far. A lot of riders took EPO in his day so he shouldn't be held solely responsible. [His allegations] but I can't forget and I can't forgive him."
The two former confidants will probably no longer be friends. Because while Verbruggen was on the one hand mild-tempered towards Armstrong, on the other hand he seemed harsh. He also suspects the American's financial interests behind the allegations: “Lance Armstrong has his own agenda, whether it's a reduction in sentence or money. Normally, Lance is always about money in some way.”
"I want the truth."
Verbruggen has released himself from any liability in this connection: "I want the truth." The Dutchman regrets today that after 1999, the year in which Armstrong delivered four samples that tested positive for cortisone, but was able to avoid a ban with a prescription submitted late, he accepted 125.000 US dollars as donations for the anti-doping fight. Armstrong's statement that he is said to have actively participated in the cover-up of positive findings, he described as "bullshit".
It has been known for years that Verbruggen has had his own view of things for years. So the comment with which he ended the interview is not surprising: He took over the UCI in a desolate state, but during his tenure at a "progressive association with an excellent reputation" shaped.