From VeloNews:

After four years as CEO of USA Cycling, Gerard Bisceglia was given his walking papers Tuesday morning. USA Cycling board president Jim Ochowicz dismissed him, but did not give him a reason, Bisceglia said.

Bisceglia says he was given no reason for his dismissal.

“I have no idea [why],” Bisceglia said. “No cause given.”

Ochowicz could not be reached this morning by telephone.

Bisceglia joined USA Cycling in 2002, coming from a post as president of restaurant management company Shogun Express. Before that, he was an executive at 7-Eleven’s parent company, The Southland Corporation, and at Circle K Corporation. During his tenure at Southland, he managed the sports marketing department that oversaw the company’s sponsorship of the 7-Eleven Cycling Team.

He is packing up his office and leaving today.

“As somebody said to me once, I was looking or a job when I found this one,” Bisceglia said. “I’ve had a wonderful four years here. It’s a great sport and I’ve had a lot of fun.”

Since Ochowicz’s day job is as a financial advisor with Thomas Weisel Partners, and since Thom Weisel is one of the owners of the Discovery Channel Cycling Team and a long-time “exerter of influence” over the direction of USA Cycling, it makes me wonder if there is another Weisel coup in the works.

Did Bisceglia not defend LANCE strongly enough against doping allegations? Something going on with the Tyler Hamilton case? Did another Discovery Channel team member test positive, and now a cover-up is in the works?

Obviously, something isn’t kosher at USAC, otherwise a reason would have been given for Bisceglia’s dismissal.


Now here’s an interesting spin. Just got the following email from USA Cycling Media Services:

Colorado Springs, Colo. (April 4, 2006)—Gerard Bisceglia resigned as Chief Executive Officer of USA Cycling on Tuesday. Former Director of Athletics and Chief Operating Officer Steve Johnson has been named by the USA Cycling Board of Directors as Bisceglia’s replacement. Johnson served as interim CEO from May of 2002 until July of 2002 prior to Bisceglia’s appointment.

“Gerard is responsible for moving USA Cycling in a positive direction over the past four years,” commented Jim Ochowicz, President of the USA Cycling Board of Directors. “Steve Johnson has the full support of the Board of Directors and the organization will continue to move in the same positive direction that it has in the last four years. USA Cycling has a talented, committed and knowledgeable staff that will assure a bright future for our organization and we are looking forward to what lies ahead.”

USAC claims that Bisceglia “resigned”, but still gives no reason. Bisceglia said he was sacked.

Sources in California indicate that Weisel wasn’t behind this one, but I still have doubts until I hear otherwise.

What I do know is that Bisceglia has done a lot of relationship building and repair between USAC and the various regional organizations that split off from USAC several years ago. Bisceglia is responsible for growing membership and improving USAC’s financial situation … so there’s obviously a backstory of which we’re not yet aware.

UPDATE 2 (Wednesday Morning)

Lest anyone think that Steve Johnson will make a good replacement for Bisceglia, read below:

From the S.F. Weekly, published this past September:

Johnson, the widely quoted USA Cycling official, appears to suffer from a serious conflict of interest between his organization’s role as a doping cop and his personal, institutional, and financial ties to the diversified business world surrounding Lance Armstrong. Financier Weisel is Armstrong’s longtime patron, employer, investment manager, and friend. Weisel is also Johnson’s longtime patron and friend and the founder of a nonprofit entity that employs him.

And then there’s this little fact: Johnson essentially works for Armstrong. In addition to serving as chief operating officer of USA Cycling, Johnson is executive director of the USA Cycling Development Foundation, an affiliated nonprofit organization founded by Weisel, who serves as president of the board of directors, according to the foundation’s most recently available IRS returns, filed in 2003. According to the foundation’s current Web site, the board of directors now includes Lance Armstrong.

Actually, that entire article is a good investigation into the ties between Thomas Weisel Partners, the Discovery Channel Cycling Team, USA Cycling, the doping allegations against Lance Armstrong, and the now sadly-deceased San Francisco Grand Prix.