Cookson calls for Armstrong clarity

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Brian Cookson, pictured, wants clarification over some of Lance Armstrong's answers Brian Cookson, pictured, wants clarification over some of Lance Armstrong's answers

British Cycling's chief is to press for answers to Lance Armstrong's claim that the disgraced rider was asked by the sport's world governing body the UCI to make a donation at the height of his drug-taking.

Brian Cookson, chairman of British Cycling and a member of the UCI's management committee, said it was an error to have accepted any money from a competitor.

Armstrong made a 25,000 US dollars (£16,000) donation in 2002, and then another for 100,000 US dollars (£63,000) several years later, the UCI has confirmed. It claims however that it reminded Armstrong of his pledge to make the donation, rather than originally soliciting the cash.

Armstrong, who confessed in a television interview with Oprah Winfrey to doping during all of his seven Tour de France titles, insisted no bribes were paid to the UCI to cover up positive tests.

Asked why he made a donation to the UCI, Armstrong said: "Because they asked me to. It was not in exchange for any cover-up. There are things which were a little shady. That was not one."

Cookson said he wanted answers both to Armstrong's claim about the donation and the "shady" dealings.

Cookson told Press Association Sport: "I noticed the subtle difference in what has been the accepted course of events so far. Previously it was accepted that he had offered a donation but now he has put it that he was asked for a donation. That's potentially quite an important difference.

"I want to know what the actual circumstances were and what other people in seniority have to say about that.

"He did say no bribes were paid to cover up any tests, so I was pleased to hear that."

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