Kimmage launches legal action against UCI chiefs

Six days after the Union Cycliste International (UCI) suspended their defamation case against author and journalist Paul Kimmage, the Irishman launched a counter-case of his own last night against UCI president Pat McQuaid and former UCI president Hein Verbruggen, accusing the pair of slander/defamation, denigration and “strong suspicions of fraud”.

Kimmage launches legal action against UCI chiefs

The former pro rider had intimated in recent weeks via his Twitter page that he was building up momentum for such a legal suit and last night, via his lawyer Cédric Aguet, he lodged a criminal complaint and denunciation against the two individuals who were previously suing him.

Kimmage, who has been hugely critical of the UCI leadership’s response to doping in cycling, launched the proceedings as the impact of the Lance Armstrong affair continues to wreak havoc in the sport. Last night on Twitter he wrote: “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 whistleblowers — 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.”

A statement released by Kimmage’s lawyers said the complaint had been lodged with the public prosecutor in the Swiss town of Vevey where he was due to stand trial on December 12 before the UCI suspended the case indefinitely.

For that case, a defence fund had been set up by the NYvelocity.com and Cyclismas.com websites and quickly raised in excess of €65,000, from over 2,000 contributors. It is now highly likely that he will put that money towards fighting this case.

The statement added: “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 {UCI].”

Landis is the former US Postal Service rider who exposed widespread drug taking on the team, and who ultimately was the catalyst for the United States Anti-Doping Agency investigation into Armstrong and the team that helped him win seven consecutive Tour de France titles.

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