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Monday, 5 August, 2002, 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK
Verbruggen quits in drugs row
Hein Verbruggen is angry at how Wada handled asthmatic Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano's positive test
Galdeano (left) was cleared of any wrongdoing
Hein Verbruggen, the president of the International Cycling Union (UCI), has resigned from the world anti-doping agency (Wada) in protest at Dick Pound's leadership.

The Dutchman, one of the agency's founding members, strongly criticised Wada and its Canadian president Pound for what he termed recent "irresponsible" statements.

Verbruggen said he was not satisfied with the handling of the case of Spanish rider Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano who tested positive while leading the Tour de France.


Pound maybe thinks he can run Wada like a sheriff in the Wild West, firing at all targets
Hein Verbruggen

De Galdeano was not punished because he suffers from asthma and had a prescription.

However Dr Alain Garnier, who heads the Lausanne bureau of Wada, claimed the rider's regular use of asthma medicine should not normally return as high a reading as was reported.

Verbruggen said Garnier and Pound were too quick to cast suspicion over de Galdeano's test results.

"I find this an attitude of terrible irresponsibility which you don't expect from an authority like Wada," he said.

Verbruggen added: "Pound maybe thinks that he can run the Wada presidency like a sheriff in the Wild West, firing with a revolver at all targets."

Verbruggen added that he was outraged "a rider and a sport could be blacklisted in this manner."

Verbruggen also denied claims that the UCI had not wanted independent observers to examine proceedings during this year's Tour.

"Wada requested nothing," said Verbruggen.

"UCI was a very loyal partner, putting all its experience at the disposal of Wada," he said.

Verbruggen, who is also president of the organising committee for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, said he informed IOC president Jacques Rogge and Pound of his decision two months ago.

"What is particularly cutting is that not later than last week Pound called on me to stay because Wada needed Verbruggen and the UCI," added the Dutchman.

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President of the UCI, Hein Verbruggen
"Recently Mr Pound has made some irresponsible statements"
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19 Jul 02 | Cycling
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