• The Cycling News forum is looking to add some volunteer moderators with Red Rick's recent retirement. If you're interested in helping keep our discussions on track, send a direct message to @SHaines here on the forum, or use the Contact Us form to message the Community Team.

    In the meanwhile, please use the Report option if you see a post that doesn't fit within the forum rules.


"Resign Pat" letter & signatories

Aug 27, 2012
Visit site
After much deliberation about doing something positive about the current status in cycling I decided, with significant help from 'I Watch Cycling in July', to write this open letter. It's intention is for it to be signed off by fans of cycling (most of us here), and I would like to invite you to co-sign and I will add you on the list. Our hope is to get this letter picked up by various folk with twitter accounts and cycling websites and general media. Please reply to this post if you are keen to co-sign. Your cycling news on-line name is fine. Final letter to be posted to Pat at UCI and other sites etc tomorrow this time. Thanks also to MJM for the '4 corners' analogy in one of your posts. Here goes:

Turning the corner on cycling

Dear Mr. McQuaid,

This week your organization is hosting its annual Road Cycling World Championships in Valkenburg, the Netherlands. It is exactly 14 years since the last time this event was held here, so a very suitable time to reflect on this period under your leadership and that of your mentor, predecessor, business partner and friend, Mr Verbruggen.

We, the fans of this sport, put it to you that the past 14 years have seen a massive slide in the general public’s confidence that cycling road racing is a cleanly contested sport, or indeed a sport worth taking seriously, or watching at all. Over these years, cycling and cyclists have become a joke and worst of all, cycling is now a sport in which doping conspiracy theory dominates the thinking.

Cycling websites where people discuss what is going on behind the scenes are having conversations that reach thousands of posts within days. A recent Lance Armstrong thread on Cycling News’ doping forum called “The Clinic” had to be restarted because it reached 10’000 posts and 1 million views within months. Team Sky doping discussions have reached 5’000 posts and 600’000 views since June this year. Bradley Wiggins from team Sky stated that his Tour de France victory left him deflated as all the questions he was getting were about the public’s perceived doping of him and his team.

How did cycling get into this mess over the past 14 years under your leadership?

Doping, corruption, and interference allegations lie at the very core of your failed reign.

It was just before the Valkenburg 1998 Road Cycling World Championships that Festina team assistant Willie Voet was caught with a pharmacy the size of a small hospital in his car trunk. At the time the UCI declared a new “doping free” beginning to the sport of cycling, cycling was to be “turning the corner”. Since then we have had the Lance Armstrong fiasco, with the biggest results from 1999 until 2006 now considered not worth re-awarding. Are they simply too embarrassing for your organization? Out of some 40 or so of the top riders from those days there are only a few not caught directly or associated with serious doping allegations. This period includes the Pantani and Operation Puerto affairs, after each you also claimed to want to be “turning the corner”.

And as an outcome of that period we now have Mr. Armstrong, a dope cheat, planning to set up his own parallel cycling/triathlon series, on the back of a cancer society funded by his cycling wins and the personal brand he has built up around those wins. Unbeknown to most people to this day, Lance was not the only young rider in his team that ended up with serious disease. Several of his junior team mates did, including cancer and autoimmune diseases, and some have died. What they also had in common was a junior coaching program where doping was at the core of their success. So the societal role model cyclist from this dark period turns out to be a guy who likely doped as a junior, got cancer as a result, reigned supreme in cycling and was a societal role model for many, claims never to have tested positive in over 500 tests (a blatant lie), and is now free falling spectacularly, taking the last of cycling’s credibility with him.

You declared recently that the 2012 Tour de France was a great example that the sport of cycling is “turning the corner” on doping because “no-one was caught in tests”. Those on the inside know, and because of Tyler Hamilton’s recent book now many in the public also know, that this statement conveniently hides the real truth. Testing budgets are minimal, often few or no tests at all are done, tests are beatable for those who know how, tests for newer doping methods are simply not yet available, and worst of all, tests are supervised by your own organization that at the same time also controls the relationships/racing eligibility of the teams and the public image of the sport. This is a massive conflict of interest that kills cycling’s credibility.

So where are we in 2012 on doping in cycling? USADA, who have taken the moral high ground from you on doping in cycling via the recent Lance Armstrong case, are setting a new example of how to deal with drug cheats. The World Anti-Doping agency is in agreement with them. They do warn of dangerous new doping methods that may well cause future deaths. Rumors about low dose carbon monoxide poisoning to stimulate blood cell count, as well as gene therapy manipulation, are now mainstream. You meanwhile continue to drag the chain. Instead of taking clear action you resort to superficial press statements that the sport is yet again “turning the corner”.
This brings us to the second major failing of your leadership: corruption allegations. Calls for explanations about Mr. Armstrong’s donations to UCI and financial relationships between related organizations that you and your predecessor control have never been convincingly answered. The way UCI connects to these organizations as well as controls the anti-doping programs will never do away with the potential for fraud and corruption, as clean as you may allege things to be. There is simply too much conflict of interest and lack of separation of duty between running the business side of the sport and being responsible for doping program outcomes.

Corruption is one part, unduly exerting interference is another. Professional cyclists and their team managers are fully dependent on your control of the anti-doping process. There are several instances that beg the question whether you interfered with test management. Lance Armstrong ended up with several dubious test results that were miraculously cleared. Floyd Landis claims the UCI warned other riders off doping, to favor Armstrong. A claim backed up by the story of a strange warning to Tyler Hamilton. And then there is Alberto Contador, whose positive test announcement was made only after the media discovered the result. Many believe the UCI was working on a cover-up. There are many other allegations of interference by UCI. Whether or not these are true is not as relevant as your continued control of the anti-doping program and results management process, which keeps you in this untrustworthy position.

So where to from here Mr. McQuaid? As fans we think you’ve had your chance to be “turning the corner” in cycling. Your reign and that of your predecessor have been a disaster, and we think you ought to do the honorable thing and resign. Since your 2005 appointment, replacing Mr. Verbruggen, nothing has fundamentally changed, and many things are simply much worse. We are very concerned with your latest comments that suggest you would like to (yet again) be “turning the corner”; after four times we are back to where we started. All you seem to propose is the introduction of an amnesty under which terms the dirt of the past 14 years can remain conveniently hidden, including your role in enabling your friend Mr. Armstrong’s charade. This is not the way forward.

A new cycling administration regime needs to hand over drug testing fully to the expert organizations under the absolute control of the World Anti-Doping Agency WADA. Testing protocols need to be strengthened and frequency increased, notably retrospective testing to deal with people who think they can beat the system today. A riders union independent of UCI needs to be established to negotiate riders/teams/sponsor relationships with UCI. Absolute transparency and accountability around decisions on pro tour status for teams and races must be provided, to end speculation of undue influencing. This may also facilitate the breaking up of the current Omerta situation, where teams and riders remain silent for fear of the UCI’s wrath. The complex web of interdependencies between competing sports administration organizations that you and Mr. Verbruggen have created and on which you have representation and/or business interests must be clarified and where required cleansed. A truth and reconciliation commission and/or amnesty can be considered only after change in administration.

Cycling is the world’s greatest sport Mr. McQuaid. It really is a microcosm of society where one needs endurance, strength and teamwork to succeed, and where clear strategy and tactics dictate outcome over time. One also needs leadership with a strong moral backbone, role models that can be looked up to by our youth as personal heroes, both in athlete teams as well as administration leadership positions. The past 14 years have been a disaster. Next time the cycling world meets again in Valkenburg it would be great to be able to finally report a having “turned the corner” in the sport of cycling. For this to happen UCI needs turn the corner first, with new leadership, after your resignation.
Jul 25, 2009
Visit site
Here it is. The link to the petition. http://tinyurl.com/PatMustGoPetition

Just in case it's not obvious to absolutely everyone who reads the open letter: The letter is about what fans believe, from all the little spinets of information available to us, on the outside. We are trying to tell the UCI what we believe, so they can see the profound lack of confidence cycling fans have in the way the sport is run. They need to know what we believe, so they understand that sweeping reforms, starting with McQuaids resignation, are the only way to restore confidence and move the sport forward.

Since the petition closed we have heard a few people have been saying they were sorry they missed out. If you still want to add your support, please post in this thread, send me a PM, and I will add you below the official closing line. Thanks for your support.

Academy CC
Sunday Augustine
Miguel In the rain
Bag of Guts

----------------------------- closing time

Jul 13, 2012
Visit site
Nice post, I'll sign that! Dave Walsh is saying on Twitter Kimmage has been given a sub-peona by the UCI and has to appear in Swiss court Dec 12........wtf are the the UCI up to??:confused:
Aug 27, 2012
Visit site
barn yard said:

Too Long Didn't Read. Got that.

But can I remind posters in this thread of the opening objective here, as per my opening statement:

"Please reply to this post if you are keen to co-sign"

Other threads can deal with Kimmage, UCI stories, etc.

So I will assume you guys are happy to have your nick on the bottom. Thanks, very happy, the more the better.
Dec 9, 2011
Visit site
Just one more point. David Walsh twitter account would be a good starting point for the letter. @DavidWalshST - looks like he is up for a scrap.
Aug 27, 2012
Visit site
thanks guys for signing up and your suggestions. The current Kimmage and Hein threads again confirm why we need this. The objective is to help build visibility and pressure on UCI to reform, and that is stronger as a group of signatories than as individuals.

Feel free to pass on the letter via your twitter accounts and/or otherwise. The more that see it the merrier, it all helps. Tomorrow we will post outside this forum also and start an on-line petition.
Dec 21, 2010
Visit site
I'm in too, anything that helps put pressure on these bunch of Bozo's - and my apologies to Bozo the Clown, for dragging his name down to the level of these..... ahhh..... whatchamacallem....