Tyler Hamilton has responded to Pat McQuaid’s denunciation of him as a “scumbag” by calling on the UCI president to step down.
Hamilton, a teammate at US Postal from 1998 to 2001 of disgraced former Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong, testified against the Texan in the USADA enquiry that ended with a recommendation that Armstrong be stripped of his titles.
Yesterday, while announcing that the UCI would ratify USADA’s decision, McQuaid denounced Hamilton and former teammate, Floyd Landis, both of whom used public donations to fight doping suspensions.
“Another thing that annoys me is that Landis and Hamilton are being made out to be heroes,” McQuaid told yesterday’s press conference in Geneva.
“They are as far from heroes as night and day. They are not heroes, they are scumbags. All they have done is damage the sport.”
But today Hamilton hit back, claiming that McQuaid’s comments exposed “the hypocrisy of his leadership”.
“Instead of seizing an opportunity to instill hope for the next generation of cyclists, he continues to point fingers, shift blame and attack those who speak out, tactics that are no longer effective,” said Hamilton.
“Pat McQuaid has no place in cycling.”
McQuaid became president of the UCI in 2006 after succeeding Hein Verbruggen, who now serves as the organisation’s honorary president. McQuaid had spent the previous eight years as chairman of the UCI’s road commission.
The UCI has faced sustained criticism for its management of the sport during the so-called EPO era and for accepting a $100,000 payment from Armstrong.
Both Landis and Hamilton testified to USADA that Armstrong had told them separately that the donation had been made to clear a positive test for EPO at the 2001 Tour de Suisse – claims the UCI and McQuaid vehemently deny.
The UCI has also been criticised for the mandatory 50 per cent hematocrit level it introduced during the Armstrong era, a level critics say encouraged EPO use by validating an unnaturally high level of red blood cells.