Nike deny paying to cover-up Armstrong's positive dope test
The Lance Armstrong scandal took a new twist on Tuesday with the allegation that Nike paid $500,000 to the former head of cycling’s world governing body, Hein Verbruggen, to cover up a positive drugs test.
The US sportswear giant, a long-time sponsor of Armstrong and his Livestrong charity, said they were standing by him, despite the decision of the US Anti-Doping Agency to ban him for life and strip him of his seven Tour de France titles.
Nike issued a statement on Tuesday night saying they ‘vehemently deny’ that they ‘paid former UCI president Verbruggen $500,000 to cover up a positive drug test’.
It followed a report that Kathy LeMond, wife of three-time Tour winner Greg, testified under oath in 2006 that she was told by Armstrong’s mechanic, Julien Devries, about the alleged donation in July 2000.
It is alleged the payment was made by Nike and Thom Weisel, an American financier who helped set up Armstrong’s team, and that it was paid into a Swiss bank account belonging to Verbruggen, president of the UCI from 1991-2005, and now UCI honorary president and an honorary member of the IOC.