The UCI has set an example for other sports bodies by cancelling Lance Armstrong’s records and titles. Cricket will indeed be better off taking a cue from UCI’s decision
Maybe Pat McQuaid and the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) still have some tough questions to answer. The president of the world cycling’s governing body just put a seal on the United States Anti Doping Agency’s (USADA) incendiary report on Lance Armstrong and made every effort to sweep his faults under the carpet.
The UCI has done very little to nail the drug cheats. Till date it hasn’t probed the “hush money” incident that Armstrong allegedly used to cover up a suspicious finding for his EPO. Armstrong reportedly donated $100,000 to the governing body to fight doping, but controlling authorities are not allowed to accept donations from current players and questions were raised and explanations asked for. The powers-that-be in world cycling, however, decided to deal with the issue with comfortable inaction.
Little wonder that three-time Tour de France champion Greg LeMond has called for McQuaid’s resignation. He didn’t spare McQuaid’s predecessor Hein Verbruggen either, accusing both of foul play. Under pressure McQuaid’s position looks vulnerable in the International Cycling Union as the organisation aims overhaul.
The UCI did very little to support the American authorities in their investigation against Armstrong but after the big star’s spectacular fall from grace it has decided to throw him into the dustbin. His achievements will be obliterated.
“Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling,” McQuaid said, while stripping him of his seven Tour de France titles. Yes, he reacted late, very late and lots still need to be done to convince people that he and his organisation really want to uproot corruption. But at least McQuaid has given an impression that he wants to learn from his mistakes.
By cancelling Armstrong’s records and titles he also has set an example for other sports bodies to follow. Cricket specially will indeed be better off taking a cue from the UCI’s decision.
So far the International Cricket Council (ICC) has been lenient on match fixing. In most cases their bans were tepid and provisions were made for the offenders to return to the game after serving the punishment. The ICC has failed to exert authority when it mattered and proved to be a toothless tiger.
The Cronje-gate was the defining moment … the controversy had laid bare the