A report by the New York Daily News has stated that ‘evidence suggests Nike may have had hand in what [the] US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) calls Lance Armstrong’s sophisticated doping program.’
Nike has today issued a short, but strongly worded statement…
‘In response to the offensive allegations in today’s New York Daily News, Nike vehemently denies that it paid former UCI President Hein Verbruggen US$500,000 to cover up a positive drug test. Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs.’
The New York Daily News article states that ‘there is evidence that suggests Nike is not simply a sponsor that chose to remain visibly loyal to a scandal-stained athlete, but an active participant in what the USADA report described as the most sophisticated doping program in sports history.’
The article notes that Nike raised eyebrows last week when it announced it was standing by Lance Armstrong, despite a flood of evidence presented by USADA.
It goes on to reference USADA’s explosive ‘reasoned decision’ and cites Kathy LeMond, the wife of American cyclist Greg LeMond, who testified under oath during a 2006 deposition that Nike paid former UCI President Hein Verbruggen US$500,000 to cover up a positive drug test.
As outlined above, this has been strongly denied by Nike. The embroiling of Nike in the already embittered doping saga during the Armstrong cycling era adds further complexity to an increasingly sad and disappointing affair. The only winners in the months ahead appear to be the lawyers – as further legal actions, and counter claims, are to be expected.
Further details from the original, disputed, article also available on the New York Daily News website…