justice department lance armstrong civil action

Photo: miqu77/Shutterstock.com

Report Outlines Profound Corruption at UCI

Presidents allegedly hid doping and solicited bribes

A dossier leaked to VeloNews and released Monday implicates the current and former heads of cycling's governining body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), in a massive doping cover-up. According to the document, UCI President Pat McQuaid and his predecessor Hein Verbruggen solicited a bribe from a team owner, bent testing rules for Lance Armstrong, and attempted to hide Alberto Contador's positive drug test.

The document appears to be a summary of a report written by two senior law enforcement and intelligence officials at the behest of Russian cycling president Igor Makarov. The report was disclosed to members of the UCI Management Committee by former USA Cycling president Mike Plant in June. Plant confirmed with VeloNews that the points in the summary were discussed with the committee. 

According to the document, McQuaid and Verbruggen solicited a $330,000 bribe in 2012 from the owner of a professional team, which refused to pay the sum. Makarov is the head of the Katusha ProTeam, which the UCI denied a WorldTour license in 2012 for vague "ethical reasons."

The reports also alleges that in 2010 the UCI attempted to cover up Contador's 2010 positive drug test in exchange for money, but backed away due to widespread media coverage. 

In respect to Armstrong, the UCI apparently allowed the Texan to race at the Tour Down Under, even though he had not made himself available for testing for the required six months. As part of the deal, Armstrong agreed to ride the Tour of Ireland for free. The document also contends that the UCI covered up Armstrong's 1999 urine samples and a 2006 report on those tests. McQuaid is said to have allowed Armstrong's attorneys to write portions of the report favorably in Armstrong's interests. 

McQuaid issued a statement Monday strongly denying the "libellous" (sic) allegations and charging that the UCI's internal Ethics Commission had been denied access to the report. “The UCI Ethics Commission have already tried to investigate the matter,” McQuaid wrote. “The Ethics Commission asked for a copy of the dossier from Igor Makarov and Mike Plant, but both of them refused to hand it over to the Ethics Commission. That fact alone speaks volumes.”

McQuaid is currently seeking reelection to the UCI's top post.


survival andes lost 4 months four months biking cyclist Raul Fernando Gomez

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Motorcyclist Found Alive After 4 Months in the Andes

Bike broke down in the mountains

Authorities in Argentina say a 58-year-old man has been rescued and is in good health after spending four months lost in the Andes. Emergency services say Raul Fernando Gomez, originally from Uruguay, lost about 45 pounds and was severely dehydrated but is expected to recover.

Gomez went missing in May while trying to cross the Andes between Chile and Argentina by motorcycle. When his bike broke down, he tried to make the journey on foot but became disoriented by two heavy snowfalls.

When asked how he survived, Gomez said he lived off sugar and raisins that he had with him, as well as caches of food he found in mountain shelters. He also trapped and ate rats, according to USA Today.

UPDATE: Original sources for this brief indicated that Gomez was a cyclist. We now know that he was traveling by motorcycle in an attempt to evade an arrest warrant. More as the story develops.


Kilian Jornet Adventurers of the Year

Kilian Jornet in Greece, 2012     Photo: DAMIEN ROSSO DROZ

Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg Rescued From Aiguille du Midi

Caught in poor weather

Kilian Jornet and Emelie Forsberg were rescued from the Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix Saturday after the weather deteriorated. On his website, Jornet posted a detailed explanation of what went wrong:

I was making a run to the north face of the Aiguille de Midi, the Frendo spur track, one that I had previously done very light. It was a good time to leave well before the bad weather and we had climbing equipment (ice and rock) necessary. I was short-sighted to think that there would be warmer temperatures and not to take more jackets. In the last rocky ledge we lost a lot of time taking the wrong route. At 50 meters from the summit of the Aiguille de Midi, the weather degenerated quickly and continued to do so, it could haven endangered myself and company. I decided to call the PGHM. It is the PGHM who got us to the top of the Needle, no more worries, we were a little cold.

While Jornet has pioneered a hybrid running and climbing approach to mountaineering and set records in the process, he's taken heat for his fast-and-light approach. "Mountain practice must be undertaken with adequate equipment so that you can face bad weather. I’m very angry when I see the continued rise of sneakers despite our requests," Jean-Louis Verdier, the guide and assistant in charge of mountain security, told La Dauphine.

In a post, Forsberg reiterated Jornet's account and added that deciding to call for the rescue team was a tough choice, but that she "became so cold and I couldn't focus my thoughts very will (sic). I was stressed and felt captured."


Lance Armstrong Lance Armstrong Apology Admission Guilt Doping

With the Oprah interview coming up, and new leaks every day, what new Lance Armstrong details will come to light this week? And what does it all mean?     Photo: Grayson Schaffer

Armstrong Ordered to Return Olympic Medal

Has yet to comply

Lance Armstrong has yet to return his Olympic bronze medal from the 2000 Games in Sydney, nine months after the International Olympic Committee asked for it back. The head of the organization's judicial commission, Thomas Bach, stepped forward Monday to publicly remind the disgraced cyclist that they were still waiting on him.

In January, the IOC stripped Armstrong of his bronze. While he accepted the punishment, he has yet to honor his promise to return the medal. The IOC is now working with the United States Olympic Committee in an attempt to recover it.

“We declared his result null and void and decided not to bump up anyone into the bronze medal position,” Bach told the Associated Press. Spaniard Abraham Olano, who has also been connected with doping, finished fourth.


Sherpas Search for Lone Trekker in Nepal

Missing for a month

Several teams of Sherpas are searching the Annapurna region of Nepal for a British trekker who has been missing for a month. George Abboudi, 22, set off alone on August 5 for an 11-day trek in northern Nepal and has not been heard from since.

Due to several disappeared hikers in recent years, the government of Kathmandu announced last summer its intention to require all trekkers to hire a guide. The tourism industry opposed the requirement, and the measure has yet to be implemented.