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Thread: New UCI President
04-01-2005, 07:36 PM #1
New UCI President
A chance encounter at an airport, a heated exchange of words and hastily issued challenge... and the cycling world may never be the same.
UCI president Hein Verbruggen on Friday announced plans to resign his post at the end of June - on the eve of the world's premier cycling event - and hand the reins of the organization over to his arch nemesis, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) boss Dick Pound.
"I think it's clear that I don't like the man," Verbruggen said at a press conference at UCI headquarters in Aigle, Switzerland, on Friday, "but, frankly, this is not about my liking or disliking Pound. It has everything to do with him shooting off his mouth at every opportunity, criticizing the work of this organization and implying that he could do a better job than I can... well, I say ‘Prove it, Dick,' and remarkably, he's taken the challenge."
Verbruggen recounted a meeting earlier in the week at Los Angeles International Airport in which he and Pound apparently made the arrangement after what some observers characterized as vicious public spat outside of the United Airlines first-class lounge at LAX.
Pound, apparently incensed over remarks the UCI president made about him a few days earlier at the world track championships, spotted Verbruggen conducting an interview with a reporter from the French sports daily L'Equipe and began to berate the Dutchman.
The reporter, Pierre Varineau, later wrote that the two men were soon both "red-faced" and shouting."There is a hell of a huge difference between skiing as a sport- or even as a lifestyle- and skiing as an industry"
Hunter S. Thompson, 1970 (RIP)