Greg LeMond Talks of Corruption in UCI, Tells Leaders to Resign 19

It's an interesting time for cycling as a whole. Yes, that umbrella term includes mountain biking, as we're all under the same governing body - the UCI. Following the recent Lance Armstrong doping developments, Greg LeMond, a three-time Tour de France winner, has openly called for the UCI's leaders to step down, citing them as "the corrupt part of the sport."

LeMond posted the following open letter on his Facebook page telling UCI President Pat McQuaid and honorary president Hein Verbruggen to resign, and inviting others to join him in "changing the sport of cycling."

Pat McQuaid, whose second term as UCI president expires in September 2013, said he has no intention of resigning over the recently unveiled drug scandals. Hein Verbruggen led the UCI from 1991 to 2005, during which time Armstrong won his titles. Today he is a member of the UCI management board and is perceived as a mentor to McQuaid.

LeMond's letter came shortly after the UCI stripped Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles and banned him for life for his involvement in what has been reported to be a massive doping program.

After reading the letter, we'd love to hear your thoughts. What do you think? Should we, as a whole, withdrawal our support from the UCI? The outcome will surely have an impact on the sport of mountain biking.

Photo: AP

An Open Letter from Greg LeMond

Can anyone help me out? I know this sounds kind of lame but I am not well versed in social marketing. I would like to send a message to everyone that really loves cycling. I do not use twitter and do not have an organized way of getting some of my own "rage" out. I want to tell the world of cycling to please join me in telling Pat McQuaid to resign. I have never seen such an abuse of power in cycling's history - resign Pat if you love cycling. Resign even if you hate the sport.

Pat McQuaid, you know damn well what has been going on in cycling, and if you want to deny it, then even more reasons why those who love cycling need to demand that you resign.

I have a file with what I believe is well documented proof that will exonerate Paul.

Pat in my opinion you and Hein are the corrupt part of the sport. I do not want to include everyone at the UCI because I believe that there are many, maybe most that work at the UCI that are dedicated to cycling, they do it out of the love of the sport, but you and your buddy Hein have destroyed the sport.

Pat, I thought you loved cycling? At one time you did and if you did love cycling please dig deep inside and remember that part of your life - allow cycling to grow and flourish - please! It is time to walk away. Walk away if you love cycling.

As a reminder I just want to point out that you recently you accused me of being the cause of USADA's investigation against Lance Armstrong. Why would you be inclined to go straight to me as the "cause?" Why shoot the messenger every time?

Every time you do this I get more and more entrenched. I was in your country over the last two weeks and I asked someone that knows you if you were someone that could be rehabilitated. His answer was very quick and it was not good for you. No was the answer, no, no, no!

The problem for sport is not drugs but corruption. You are the epitome of the word corruption.

You can read all about Webster's definition of corruption. If you want I can re-post my attorney's response to your letter where you threaten to sue me for calling the UCI corrupt. FYI I want to officially reiterate to you and Hien that in my opinion the two of your represent the essence of corruption.

I would encourage anyone that loves cycling to donate and support Paul in his fight against the Pat and Hein and the UCI.* Skip lunch and donate the amount that you would have spent towards that Sunday buffet towards changing the sport of cycling.

I donated money for Paul's defense, and I am willing to donate a lot more, but I would like to use it to lobby for dramatic change in cycling. The sport does not need Pat McQuaid or Hein Verbruggen - if this sport is going to change it is now. Not next year, not down the road, now! Now or never!

People that really care about cycling have the power to change cycling - change it now by voicing your thought and donating money towards Paul Kimmage's defense, (Paul, I want to encourage you to not spend the money that has been donated to your defense fund on defending yourself in Switzerland. In my case, a USA citizen, I could care less if I lost the UCI's bogus lawsuit. Use the money to lobby for real change).

If people really want to clean the sport of cycling up all you have to do is put your money where your mouth is.

Don't buy a USA Cycling license. Give up racing for a year, just long enough to put the UCI and USA cycling out of business. We can then start from scratch and let the real lovers in cycling direct where and how the sport of cycling will go.

Please make a difference.

- Greg

*McQuaid and Verbruggen are currently suing journalist Paul Kimmage for claiming they were (are) corrupt. The Paul Kimmage Defense Fund was organized to help Krimmage in his legal battle against the two. The Fund has received donations from hundreds of average joes and several influential industry figures, including LeMond.
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  • Col.Moe.Dee

    10/30/2012 9:24 AM

    I agree the oganization needs serious overhaul.

    I wish Greg did a better job with his letter. He makes a lot os accusations, but offers little proof.

    Even as a newby to the sport, I can tell just from the headlines and various articles how poorly they run the UCI and USAC. I will be skipping USAC events next year.

  • mickey

    10/29/2012 7:42 AM

    Griz(and other passionate loudmouths)-
    If you want to keep getting stoked on revolution, do, because this is one of those formative moments where we can all make a difference. Holla at yer boys, get 'em on board, tell the media, roll, roll, roll, roll.

    Because it's like this- there is going to be a HUGE power vacuum when USAC cleans house. Very big-
    A voluntary free and open riders organisation that can speak for off-road athletes and organizers can and will be able to make a big difference over the next couple of years.
    It's really time for as many people as possible to get over their egos, promoters to get over their petty differences and sponsors to come together to create even a small membership funded non-profit .org that can help speak for our interests by accumulating the capital necessary to speak loudly.
    I'm hoping that this story will make people realize how small the bike racing biz is, it just seems impenetrable because of the concentration of power.
    When we work to disassemble that power structure we will get closer to a point where a racing organisation can be self-governed by atheltes, sponsors and promoters, not bureaucrats serving the interests of a few very rich, very powerful people.

  • chequamie

    10/27/2012 10:04 PM

    7 chainsaw gets it!

  • 26griz

    10/26/2012 9:26 AM

    USAC will lie to your family when you're in ICU getting a blood transfusion. USAC and UCI only hold our sport from booming - keeping it's athlete's in poverty and neglecting the wounded . As an athlete who's been screwed by USAC - I encourage all who actively compete to forget about renewing that USAC license this year. It's time to get a privatized organization to take the helm of racing and guide it back to the mainstream - so those of us who sacrifice it all to inspire dreams and generate sales can have a shot at survival. REFORM!

  • iceman2058

    10/26/2012 8:55 AM

    Oh come on, cheating is rife in mountain biking too! For example, rumor has it that a few of the slopestyle guys regularly ride without being stoned, which clearly puts them at an unfair advantage compared to your average Joe. It's high time (yes, pun, whoop) they looked into that, it just can't go on like this.

  • Paulo Jorge_Almeida

    10/26/2012 5:08 AM

    this is what i call being a man :D

  • mbl77

    10/26/2012 12:18 AM

    Respect. And if anyone doubts Lemond's sincerity, and has 45mins to spare, watch this - The guy calls it like he sees it.

  • Trevpratt

    10/25/2012 9:31 PM

    great share vital

  • erik saunders

    10/25/2012 8:35 PM

    i really appreciate that vital has shared this... obviously, the uci and usac are not truly relevant in grass roots mountain biking anymore, but Mikey remembers when they were! the death of norba and the ncs is a shame... the power politics of cycling has had a very negative effect on the young Americans who have dreamed of a career in mountain bike racing in the last 15 years... i would love to see a vibrant usac as involved in grass roots mountain biking as they are in grass roots road racing... but the corruption killed that so hard... it might come back though...

  • mickey

    10/25/2012 7:23 PM

    When the media finishes unraveling the whole Armstrong ball of yarn it's final terminus will be at USAC.
    Expect to hear about USAC in the main-stream media in about 4 weeks, lots of people are going to be outraged.

    The money behind that place is filthy, and the dude who ultimately holds the strings to the purse there is the guy who co-owned the postal service team and is credited in a sworn affidavits as the genus behind the USPS program as well as deliberately destroying the NCS series and then NORBA.
    There are people in the racing world and industry that hate USAC as much as the rest of us, but have always been afraid of Lance

    There really seems to be a bit of a detente and ex USAC and NORBA board members who work in the bike industry or are still active athletes have some pretty heavy stories since they were in USCF/USAC board meetings while the same damn guy first cut funding to the NCS series and then succeeded in eliminating NORBA entirely explicitly because he wanted to maximize his own personal investment in the Postal team. If somehone can figure out how to bring the death of NORBA up in a trial or hearing situation there are dozens of people, who were there that would be forced to help compile a dossier of just how, it turns out, USAC deliberately assassinated mountainbiking just so they could spend more money on well, bad stuff.
    That's straight shooting too...

    Lemond is a freaking great guy.

  • alex.kyriacou.775

    10/25/2012 4:08 PM

    Doping has been going on as long as cycling has, what has drastically changed over the last 15 years is our tolerance to it.
    The simple fact is why Lance wasn't caught doping, when all around him were? If those in the UCI genuinely knew nothing about this, then they are so inept they should all be instantly fired, If they knew and did nothing then they should get fired.
    Was Lance Armstrong a master villain, running a drug cartel paying off every one in sight, or mearly a puppet.
    I'd like to know what will happen to the 7 riders conned out of the most important victory of their careers,
    Truth is the only way to clean up cycling is to clean it out, and start again, from the ground up.

  • 7Chainsaw

    10/25/2012 3:50 PM

    I agree that the leaders of UCI need to be done and a fresh crew needs to be hired. I do believe governing bodies are good for olympic and world sport, but when they are know to have a corrupt past, why hold on to them. If this happened in the business world, the CEO would get penalized as well.
    Same with the riders. Get rid of them. 6 months over the winter, banned! Its not like these riders are even cool people to begin with. Anybody see Tyler Hamilton on TV telling the truth but still classic too-cool roadie, Lance has always seemed to be a big turkey, and that Timmy D guy, what a dork. Passion for sport nonexistent. They were always that cool guy who could only wear their team kit and couldnt look at you because you ran your seatpost too low. We didnt need them back then and we dont need them after this mess. We have Howard Grotts, Sepp Kuss and Colton Andersen to take their place. For every 10 of them there are 100 willing and dope free young adults waiting to have their shot.
    Everybody makes mistakes, but these guys lost their turn and its up to us now.

  • syngltrkmnd

    10/25/2012 3:08 PM

    Ugh. What a mess. I have never been much of a fan of road racing, and my marginal interest has dwindled to zero over the past few years. I used to race mountain bikes but no longer do for a variety of reasons. But if I did, I would very seriously reconsider. I don't believe Lemond 100%, I don't really know much about the legal case against Kimmage, but I do strongly suspect that professional road racing stinks to the core.

    I'm a mountain biker, and I'll always be one. Screw racing, screw big ego-driven road geeks, and screw all this bullshit. It looks like Lance lied to all of us for years, just like scores of other road racing cheaters. Let 'em all fester in their own corrupt filth. I'll be out on some trails, enjoying the quiet.

  • sideshow

    10/25/2012 2:58 PM

    Go Greg, go. You tell 'em buddy. I would very much like to see such a monstrosity that is the UCI and it's national affiliates dismantled and reassembled with people who have the vested interest of the athlete (of all calibers) in mind, and the fan too for that matter. I think road racing went from a circus to an abomination all too quickly. With Raboback pulling out, and now Greg speaking up, I think more ears have perked up and it is time we as cyclists start to stand up together and form a sanction body that cares, puts forth proper regulations that help progress all aspects of cycling, and generally does right by us. $150 for a license is dumb here in the US, and due to the UCI points debacle, it is nearly impossible to try and get to the WC level without maxing out one's funds in the process (due to travel). I can't offer a solution at the moment, but I will support the person(s) who are able to make change, like the US Grand Prix for example - that's the future right there folks. I like that things are starting to shake up, we need to figure out a better system, here in the US specifically, and the UCI certainly needs a make-over too, after all this ridiculous hoopla in the road world.

  • kidwoo

    10/25/2012 2:55 PM

    Nah, just the opiate of the masses.

    Jesus Christ, Lemond writes like a 5 year old. Say 'love cycling' one more time. Say it! I don't think you mean it!!!

  • Scott_Townes

    10/25/2012 8:37 PM

    Right because you can only love cycling and want the best direction of the sport if you have PR guys editing your letters to the public instead of writing it yourself in your own words...

    If you believe that the amount of passion that you have for this sport is some how correlated to how "professionally" you can communicate to the masses then you need to shut up and take a seat because you clearly don't have a clue to what makes someone actually care for this sport... you're pathetic.

  • kidwoo

    10/25/2012 8:43 PM

    And you can only completely miss the meager, inconsequential point of my post if you're a moron named Scott Townes.

  • Scott_Townes

    10/26/2012 5:01 AM

    Nah don't think I did... its just that your point is retarded...

  • Rob RiZen

    10/25/2012 1:53 PM

    So is Aaron Gwinn on the drugs too?