Cookson Hopeful Of Armstrong Assistance

Cookson Hopeful Of Armstrong AssistanceNew International Cycling Union chief Brian Cookson has remarked Lance Armstrong can play an important role in a 'truth and reconciliation' process and restore the reputation of professional cycling to some extent.

Many in the cycling world believe that the disgraced cyclist could be one of the first ports of call for Cookson, who defeated Pat McQuaid to the presidency of the UCI. Cookson is also expecting McQuaid to extend his full cooperation in case investigations are initiated into alleged corruption within the world governing body of cycling. The presidential campaign of Brian Cookson was built around calls for an anti-doping body independent of the UCI after allegations that Pat McQuaid and former UCI head Hein Verbruggen had colluded in the past to hide positive drug tests.

On the victory of Cookson, @Lance Armstrong posted a simple 'Hallelujah' on his Twitter feed. Cookson, remarking to Armstrong's tweet, said he is pleased to learn that someone is happy because he is elected, be it Lance Armstrong or someone else. He also added Armstrong is obviously one of those people who will be invited to contribute to the process once we've established that and he'll certainly be seeking to do that as quickly as possible.

In the past, Cookson had remarked Lance Armstrong should get a more level playing field as other drug cheats had been treated more generously. However, Cookson said the banned cyclist has no place in elite cycling but he would expect Armstrong to come all clean to expose others who might have been involved in helping cover up his activities. He also remarked it may be necessary to offer reduced sentences to those who testify, even Armstrong.

The cyclist was recently ordered by a Texas judge to provide his first sworn testimony on details about his use of performance enhancing drugs. This order was made in respect to a lawsuit filed by Nebraska-based Acceptance Insurance Holding that seeks to recover $3 million in bonuses it paid Lance Armstrong from 1999 to 2001. The firm wants to know when many of the personal and business associates of the cyclist, including ex-wife Kristin Armstrong, team officials, the cyclist's lawyers, and ex-UCI President Pat McQuaid, first learned of his doping. The Nebraska-based firm also wants to know if any payments were made to cover up doping. McQuaid and predecessor Hein Verbruggen have been accused of ignoring doping in professional cycling and accepting money from Lance Armstrong to turn a blind eye to doping practices of the cyclist.

The attorneys of Armstrong said their client has acknowledged cheating and Acceptance Insurance Holding is engaging in a harassing and malicious expedition that is intended to make a spectacle of Armstrong's doping. A few weeks back, Travis County District Judge Tim Sulak ordered the banned cyclist to provide documents and written answers to a series of questions by the end of September.

In another development, Armstrong's former girlfriend Sheryl Crow has urged media people and reporters to stop asking her about the drug-use scandal of her former lover as she is tired of responding. Crow and Armstrong dated for three years a decade ago.

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