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"There is nothing in the USADA report which implicated Mr. Verbruggen in any wrongdoing," said the Irish official, who stated he would not resign and will likely stand for a third four-year presidential term next September.
After five hours of defending his organization, McQuaid directed his most pointed frustration at former Armstrong teammates Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton, whose whistleblower testimony exposed the depth of cheating in the U.S. Postal Service team and cycling’s entrenched doping culture.
"They are not heroes," said McQuaid, explaining that he was angered by riders who repeatedly denied doping during their careers and who tried to make money from their confessions.
The outburst conflicted with his earlier statement that "the UCI is listening" and welcomed riders telling what they knew about doping.
"Pat McQuaid’s comments expose the hypocrisy of his leadership," Hamilton said in a statement to the BBC. "Instead of seizing an opportunity to instill hope for the next generation of cyclists, he continues to point fingers, shift blame and attack those who speak out, tactics that are no longer effective. Pat McQuaid has no place in cycling."
Asked by the AP who represented a brighter future for cycling, McQuaid pointed to riders such as Vincenzo Nibali of Italy, Geraint Thomas of Britain and Tejay van Garderen of the U.S., winner of the best young rider classification at the 2012 Tour.
"They are looking at what is happening (in the Armstrong case) and they are saying to themselves, ‘I never want to be involved in anything like this. I never want to be near anything like this,’" McQuaid said. "They are the riders who will bring our sport forward."
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