Three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond has called for the resignation of Pat McQuaid, the president of cycling's world governing body the UCI.
In an open letter published on Facebook, LeMond, winner of the 1986, 1989 and 1990 Tours and now the only American winner of the Tour after Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven titles, was critical of McQuaid and his predecessor Hein Verbruggen, who remains honorary president of the organisation.
"I want to tell the world of cycling to please join me in telling Pat McQuaid to resign," LeMond wrote.
"I have never seen such an abuse of power in cycling's history - resign Pat if you love cycling. Resign even if you hate the sport."
"I have never seen such an abuse of power in cycling's history" - Greg LeMond
LeMond added his weight to the campaign to support former Sunday Times journalist Paul Kimmage, who is the subject of a defamation suit brought by McQuaid and Verbruggen in Switzerland.
The American has made a donation to the fund to support Kimmage's legal fight, but would prefer money is used to "lobby for real change".
"I would like to use it to lobby for dramatic change in cycling," LeMond added.
"The sport does not need Pat McQuaid or Hein Verbruggen - if this sport is going to change it is now. Not next year, not down the road, now! Now or never!
"People that really care about cycling have the power to change cycling."
LeMond had long been critical of Armstrong before the Texan was stripped of his seven Tour titles by the UCI on Monday, when McQuaid insisted cycling had a future and stressed his determination to be part of it.
Armstrong and his United States Postal Service team ran "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen," a 1,000-page United States Anti-Doping Agency report concluded.
A special meeting of the UCI's management committee will take place tomorrow to discuss the "exact sporting consequences" of the decision, including whether the 1999 to 2005 Tour titles and prize money will be redistributed.