Monday, December 31, 2012

Pat McQuaid must go

CyclingNews just published an article of quotes from Pat McQuaid, the President of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the organization which oversees international cycling (McQuaid: All I've done since I became president is fight doping).

Where to begin?

Some of the ways McQuaid has been "fighting doping":

  1. Trying to take over the USADA case against Lance Armstrong, claiming it had no merit, then trying to rush USADA into submitting its evidence early
  2. Filing lawsuits against Floyd Landis and Paul Kimmage, each of whom reported the UCI appeared to be complicit in covering up Armstrong positives. Armstrong's $125k donation to the UCI still goes officially unexplained.
  3. Calling "scumbags" riders who came forward with evidence against doping at US Postal and Discovery.
  4. Attacking Dick Pound, the then-head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, who had called for stricter anti-doping efforts in cycling and who had correctly claimed cycling had a doping problem.
  5. Fighting efforts by races such as the Tour de France and Tour of California to provide more stringent anti-doping tests. Then when the UCI takes over the number of positives drops and the UCI declares success in "cleaning" the sport. When UCI took over the testing at Tour of California, sponsored by Amgen (which makes EPO), no EPO tests were done.
  6. Promoting a system of rider points where teams are judged primarily on the sum-total of points scored by riders on the current roster, providing zero-tolerance for any reduction in results "racing clean", and providing enormous pressure to eliminate riders who sacrificed their personal results for the good of the team, and to stop racing riders leaving the team at year-end.
  7. Continually claiming the sport has "cleaned up", despite ongoing evidence to the contrary.
  8. Doing nothing to promote women's cycling.
  9. Obsessing over such issues as whether saddles are level, the shape of bicycle tubes, and the bicycle mass limit, issues which only hold back the optimization of bicycle design.
  10. Suppressing the use of on-board cameras and metrology on bicycles, technologies which make cycling more interesting to live video coverage.
  11. Trying to "internationalize" the sport by putting pressure on teams to participate in races from January through October, putting even more pressure on riders to dope to survive the unnatural rigors of a 10-month season.
  12. Resisting any effort for doping enforcement to be made more independent from the other aspects of cycling management and promotion, maintaining a fundamental conflict of interest.

No, I've had quite enough with Pat McQuaid and the UCI, and until there is fundamental change, starting with the position of the president, in the UCI my interest in professional cycling is majorly compromised.

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