UCI says no contact so far in probe
Cycling's top official Pat McQuaid has questioned whether the latest investigation into cheating at the highest level of the sport is being driven by new information or old vendettas.
"There was nothing we could do to favor him and he was treated within the rules the same as any other athlete."
McQuaid said in the future the UCI "may deal differently" with a donation like Armstrong's. But he insisted that it depends heavily on donations from all riders and teams to support its annual $6.4 million anti-doping budget.
Armstrong has always denied Landis' allegations, and has described his former teammate as "a person of zero credibility."
In a statement sent to The Associated Press a few hours before the start of the Tour de France this year, Armstrong described Landis' claims as "a carton of sour milk: once you take the first sip, you don't have to drink the rest to know it has all gone bad."
Although declining to speak directly about the latest allegations, McQuaid said it would have "some effect on the sport and the image and credibility" of cycling if the U.S. investigation turned up any evidence of wrongdoing.
"If it ultimately goes against Lance Armstrong and he is found culpable and found that he was doping during his career, then it will obviously have an effect on the brand Lance Armstrong and Lance himself to some extent."
McQuaid expressed his confidence the latest investigation would find nothing wrong with its anti-doping practices.
U.S. media reported earlier in the year that Landis was cooperating with the Food & Drug Administration's criminal investigations unit and had met with FDA special agent Jeff Novitzky.
McQuaid argued that many of the allegations being probed by U.S. authorities occurred long before the UCI introduced the existing tough deterrents such as the biological passport.
"The sport has made enough progress in recent years that we are going beyond that. We will survive beyond that," he said of the investigation.
"We have introduced a biological passport which is the most advanced method of anti-doping and is a pioneering method," he added. "We can see this having an effect as a deterrent. The cycling of today is completely different than the cycling of 2000, 2002 and 2003 which this investigation is talking about."