London: The International Cycling Union (UCI) continues to face pressure from various sports sponsors and figures, after a major Australian clothing brand claimed that the organisation was ‘complicit’ in sweeping disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong’s doping scandal under the carpet.
Jaimie Fuller, Chairman of the Australian sportswear firm Skins that has ploughed around 10 million dollars into the UCI over the last five years, says the scandal has caused ‘reputational damage’ to the sponsors.
The firm has now sued the organization in a 2 million-dollar lawsuit.
“This is a ground-breaking move and it`s one of those situations that could become case law for the future. When a sport is in trouble you look to the international federation to help it through. It`s a pretty rare situation where the international federation is actually complicit in what was going on,” the Daily Mail quoted Fuller, as saying.
Fuller also claimed that UCI president Pat McQuaid and his predecessor and honorary president Hein Verbruggen needed to accept responsibility for the failure to deal with Armstrong, who was last month stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.
“These two gentleman have sat at the top of world cycling for 22 years and they need to be accountable for what they did and did not do,” said Fuller.
Meanwhile, British cyclist David Millar says the UCI need to make a full apology, the paper said.
“The UCI need to be very careful, because the momentum is rolling too fast for them to control it. Just as with Lance Armstrong, we`ll reach another tipping point soon. I sense the same looming crash with the UCI - unless they act decisively,” Miller said.