Three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond has suggested changes in drug testing and in the sport’s governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale, especially in the wake of the Lance Armstrong doping case.

“It’s about getting trust in the system, and it’s totally doable,” he said in a radio interview with Ireland’s NewsTalk on Saturday.

The American won the Tour de France three times and World Championships twice in the 1980s and 1990s. He butted heads with Armstrong, saying in 2001 that it was disappointing that he worked with known doping doctor Michele Ferrari. In the interview, he explained that plea-bargaining could help go after the drug dealers.

“I actually went to WADA [World Anti-Doping Agency] to see if they would change their deal about plea-bargaining. I’d much rather have Floyd [Landis] come out, admit it, but give up his source because somebody is giving those drugs to somebody. It’s usually a doctor, a team manager, somebody, and if they do that it leads to an outing of those guys… If that would have started in the ’90s, [Michele] Ferrari would have been out, [Francesco] Conconi would have been out – all these doctors. They’re the same ones that were doping riders in the ’80s, ’90s – they’re still there.”

Landis and Tyler Hamilton alleged that Armstrong tested positive in the 2001 Tour of Switzerland and that the Union Cycliste International (UCI) covered up the doping test. LeMond said that an independent doping agency needs to handle the testing.

“It needs to change. Drug testing needs to be separated from the governing body [the UCI] completely. I’d love to see that. I would buy into the UCI’s part much more in the sport if they would voluntarily help set-up an independent doping agency like USADA and WADA, and have it to where there’s a real body of scientists that cannot be influenced by anybody. Not anybody.”

Armstrong donated around $125,000 to the UCI in 2002. UCI President Pat McQuaid said last month, “If it were happen today, we would treat it differently and state it differently.” However, he added that if another cyclist wanted to give a donation “we would accept it. I don’t see a problem with it.”

“Any donations from anybody outside is absolutely unethical,” explained LeMond. “And it reeks of something that’s… What does it say to all the other riders? It’s quite usual that everybody who’s left that team [US Postal/Discovery] are positive, and while on the team, nobody’s positive. It needs to just change, and the people are going to change it. Right now is the time to do it.”

The USADA is due to send the UCI its investigation files by next week. Armstrong is banned from competing, but continues to race in unsanctioned triathlons. Last week, he raced in California and spoke afterwards regarding the case. He said that people need to “move on”.

“Some people don’t do that. They sit around and talk about the past. You always get high-school friends who sit around and talk about ‘hey remember that time…’ and I’m like ‘Why are you asking me about that?’ … What else do they want to strip? The Tour of Colorado? Tour of the Gila? It’s so dumb. I don’t care. Honestly,” Armstrong told Lava Magazine.

It asked about people opposing him racing. The California triathlon does not fall under USADA testing. A Maryland event dropped its USA Triathlon sanctioning so that Armstrong could compete yesterday.

“Others won’t move on. It’s sad. I’m aware that it’s [opposition] out there. It’s like, why are you continuing? You got what you wanted; Lance Armstrong never did anything in his life. Great. For some, it’s like, shouldn’t you be out training and focusing on what you’re doing? F**king move on. So strange.”

Armstrong, who maintains he always raced clean, refused to defend himself in the USADA case. The agency said he doped with EPO, testosterone and blood transfusions, banned him for life and stripped all of his results from 1998 onwards, including all seven Tour de France wins.

Related links

Landis fined and ordered to pay costs in UCI defamation case

Kimmage: UCI just want to shut me up

USADA strips Armstrong of seven Tour titles

  • Mac

    And now LeMond lost his purpose for living…
    and maybe he will be the next to investigate????

  • John

    Is Armstrong really a fraud. He beat the best of his era who tested positive or were as dodgy a him. I want to see clean cycling however I think it is a bit unrealistic to turn back time. If we don’t think the UCI can control it we can always remove the UCI and start a new sport of Cycling 2 under a different body.

  • hugh anderson

    USADA HAVE A NERVE TRYING TO BAN ANYONE.CORRECT ME IF IM WRONG BUT WAS A BRITISH CYCLIST NOT TAKING PART IN THIS YEARS OLYMPICS.HOW CAN THEY BAN LANCE FOR LIFE AND NOT HIM.
    WOULD YOU BELIEVE ALOT OF LYING EX PRO AMERICAN CYCLISTS AT YOUR TRIAL,I DONT THINK SO.
    I THINK LEMOND IS TRYING TO ESCALTE HIMSELF TO BE THE BEST AMERICAN CYCLIST,NOT THAT IM SAYING HE WASNT A GREAT CYCLIST,BUT HE DOES NOT HAVE ANY EVIDENCE ABOUT ANYTHING
    AND THIS IS THE WHOLE PROBLEM.
    WHAT ABOUT LEIPHEIMER?I HOPE USADA WILL BE BANNING THEM AS WELL.
    MABEY US AND THE PRESS SHOULD MOVE ON.UCI SHOULD TAKE TITLES AWAY FROM ANY CYCLIST AND THAT INCLUDES ALL THE SO CALLED TEAM MATES OF ARMSTRONG,HINCAPPIE INCLUDED.

  • Proud to be British

    Here, here!!

  • Mike

    Skeptik.

    No one has ever cast doubt on Lemonds career, so what is your assumption based on????

    Any comments in the press from his former team mates,or even rivals, accusing him of doping? No, I thought not.
    Why is it fanboys of Armstrong are still deluded enough to believe he was a superman. He was not, that is why he is running away from a court case that would bring the whole story, including any aleged UCI involvement, into the public domain.

  • Ken Evans

    “It’s so dumb. I don’t care. Honestly,”
    Armstrong told Lava Magazine.

    Not entirely convincing Mr Armstrong.

    Armstrong is just the highest profile name,
    there is a whole industry behind doping in cycling.

    Lemond was a team mate of Fignon,
    in his book Fignon admits to doping.
    At that time some of the drugs were different,
    but the intention was the same.

  • Mark

    Skeptic

    Armstrong and his fellow cheat Bruyneel have been trying to destroy everybody who’s crossed him over the course of his career. Landis, Hamilton, LeMond, Tygart, Dick Pound, USADA, WADA, the doping agency lab scientists, journalists…. you name it. The greatest myth perpetuated by Armstrong and his legal and public relations lackeys is that he’s the victim of a witch hunt, when in fact he’s been the one doing the persecuting all along. Time to give this bully his comeuppance. Once George Hincapie’s testimony becomes public, it’s all over.

    LeMond is the greatest American cyclist. There’s no longer any debate.

  • Phil

    Skeptic

    Where’s the evidence that Greg Lemond did dope? I don’t read books by his ex team mates going on about him doping. Funny that. Perhaps that’s because he didn’t dope. Lemond didn’t need to.

    As for Armstrong’s comments about everyone moving on. That’s very convenient for him. Let’s not move on. I want to know if he was the biggest sporting fraud of all time.

  • Skeptic

    I’d say LeMond protests a bit too much. He recently was quoted as saying something like “Armstrong has been trying to destroy me for the last decade.” I think the opposite is more true. Also, where’s the evidence that LeMond didn’t dope? Let’s go back and have another look at some of his old blood samples.

  • Mark Jones

    I was always a huge fan of Greg Lemond in the 80s and it is always good to hear his stance on doping. He speaks a lot of sense as always and the drug testing should be separated from the UCI. It should be one rule for everyone and Pat and Verbruggen should be forced to resign for all that has gone on.

  • Hadyn Bosher @ 78in Thailand

    Always admired Greg,as a cyclist and a person,and what he’s suggesting is dead riight,and wish it could happen,but have my doubts,the u.c i needs a complete overhall !!???