Files of former cycling chief Pat McQuaid seized by investigators
Cookson says investigators “were available to make sure that nothing was destroyed that shouldn’t be destroyed”
Pat McQuaid last night denied reports that his laptop had been seized. Photograph: Getty
Pat McQuaid’s eight-year tenure in office as head of professional cycling’s world governing body is under the microscope after it emerged that investigators have taken computers, files and documents.
The Irish man lost his job as president of Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) in the election held on September 27th in Florence, with Britain’s Brian Cookson being voted in 24-18.
Minutes after Mr Cookson won the vote, he signed a form and had it emailed to UCI staff in Aigle, Switzerland. This authorised corporate investigators from the Kroll company who were waiting outside to enter the building and seize IT equipment, plus other items.
Mr Cookson told the Financial Times. “They [Kroll] had to secure the computers. They took all the back-up tapes and all the IT stuff. They were available to make sure that nothing was destroyed that shouldn’t be destroyed.”
Mr McQuaid last night denied reports that his laptop had been seized.
Cyclingnews magazine quoted him saying: “That story is bullshit. My laptop was with me in Florence and came back to Switzerland with me. A week later I gave it to UCI to clear my UCI files and the laptop is now back with me.”
Prior to the election, Mr McQuaid insisted that he acted ethically during his time with the UCI, and that he had nothing to hide.
Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong was stripped of his titles in August 2012 and has since confessed to long-term doping.
Armstrong’s former team-mates Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton had claimed that Armstrong told them in 2001 that he had tested positive during the Tour de Suisse but that the UCI would ensure that he didn’t serve a ban.
Mr McQuaid and former UCI president Hein Verbruggen denied this, saying Armstrong displayed suspicious thresholds of EPO, but they were not enough to spark a positive test at the time.