World cycling's top official Pat McQuaid has rejected claims of a conflict of intest concerning the sport's acceptance of a $US100,000 donation from Lance Armstrong.
Armstrong, the seven-times Tour de France champion, was forced on the defensive once more last week after stinging allegations of systematic doping were levelled at him and other leading riders by a disgraced former teammate Floyd Landis.
Pat McQuaid says Armstrong made the donation in 2002, after the inauguration of the world cycling centre in Switzerland, to help the development of the sport.
McQuaid said the money was used to buy a machine used for analysing blood samples, but the UCI had to chase up the promised funds which failed to materialise three years later.
He said in 2002 there was no need to query the integrity of Armstrong's offer.