Journalist lodges UCI criminal complaint
PARIS (AFP) –
Former cyclist turned journalist Paul Kimmage has started criminal proceedings against International Cycling Union president Pat McQuaid and honorary president Hein Verbruggen.
The move, announced by Kimmage on Twitter on Thursday, counters the defamation case the two cycling officials are themselves taking against Kimmage who has been a constant critic of the UCI’s response to doping in cycling.
Writing on Twitter Kimmage explained: “I have lodged a criminal complaint against Hein Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid.
“I have initiated these proceedings not for myself – this is not about Paul Kimmage, but on behalf of the whistle blowers – Stephen Swart, Frankie Andreu, Floyd Landis, Christophe Bassons, Nicolas Aubier, Gilles Delion, Graeme Obree and every other cyclist who stood up for truth and the sport they loved and were dismissed as “cowards” and “scumbags” by Verbruggen and McQuaid.”
Britain’s Press Association later published a statement issued by Kimmage’s lawyers Bonnard Lawson, confirming the criminal complaint had been lodged with the public prosecutor in the Swiss town of Vevey.
The statement went on: “Paul Kimmage complains, among other things, that he was dragged through the mud, that he was called a liar in public and accused in public of committing offences against the honour after he had obtained the publication of an interview by Floyd Landis in which the latter denounced the conduct of the highest officials of the International Cycling Union (UCI).”
This development places cycling’s rulers under fresh scrutiny in the wake of the Lance Armstrong scandal.
Last month the UCI ratified the decision by the United States Anti-Doping Agency to strip the fallen cycling icon of his seven Tour de France titles and ban him from the sport for life.
The UCI’s own legal action against Kimmage has been put on hold pending the results of an independent investigation into allegations against the UCI in the wake of the Armstrong doping revelations.
Last month a Swiss court found dope-tarnished American cyclist Floyd Landis guilty of defaming the UCI.
Landis had accused cycling’s governing body, McQuaid and his predecessor Verbruggen, of concealing cases of doping and taking a bribe from Armstrong for doing so.