AS AN INVESTIGATIVE journalist with over two decades’ experience covering the most litigious of world sports, cycling, Paul Kimmage is no stranger to threats of legal action.
An outspoken critic of cycling’s lack of institutional transparency, his work in publicising doping-related corruption has earned a number of high-profile detractors, including seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, David Millar and, most recently, former presidents of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen.
Dissatisfied with the contents of an interview Kimmage gave to French publication l’Equipe last summer, the pair have filed a legal petition against the Dubliner in Switzerland, claiming his “dishonest” remarks damaged their professional reputations. Both are seeking upwards of €6,600 in damages.
Speaking to VeloNation after news of the court case was published in today’s Sunday Independent, Kimmage made his feelings on the subject abundantly clear:
“My reaction to this can be summed up very simply. Unlike Mr Verbruggen and Mr McQuaid, I do not accept donations from Lance Armstrong, so I am not really in a position to defend this… Hell will freeze over before I issue either of those gentlemen an apology for anything.”
In addition to financial reparation, the court case seeks to prevent Kimmage from repeating allegations that the UCI accepted money from Lance Armstrong as payment for concealing evidence of doping on the rider’s US Postal team during the 2001 Tour de France.