IRISH SPORTS JOURNALIST Paul Kimmage launched legal action against two of cycling’s top officials as his ongoing row with the sport’s governing body took a dramatic turn on Thursday evening.
Kimmage lodged a criminal complaint in a Swiss court against Pat McQuaid, president of the Union Cycliste International (UCI), and former president Hein Verbruggen.
The action concerns allegations made against Kimmage and other whistleblowers in the fight against doping.
According to today’s press release signed by attorney Cédric Aguet, Kimmage has requested the “opening of a criminal investigation for slander/defamation, denigration and for strong suspicions of fraud.”
“Paul Kimmage has initiated these criminal proceedings not for himself but first of all in honour of the whistle-blowers – Stephen Swart, Frankie Andreu, Floyd Landis, Christophe Bassons, Nicolas Aubier, Giles Delion, Graham Obree and the many others – who were brave enough to speak but were dismissed as ‘liars’, ‘cowards,’ or ‘scumbags’ by Hein Verbruggen and/or Pat McQuaid.”
Kimmage’s suit comes less than a week after the UCI announced that they would suspend their own action against the Dubliner pending the outcome of an independent review into the role of doping in the sport.
Both McQuaid and Verbruggen argued that they had been defamed by articles written by Kimmage. A fund set up by cycling fans to help with the costs of Kimmage’s defence currently stands at over $85,000.
Kimmage’s action was praised on Twitter by fellow journalist David Walsh, another of the most outspoken critics of Lance Armstrong and cycling’s governing body. Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after the UCI upheld a United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) report which found that the disgraced American had been part of “the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever see.”
UCI is being investigated by Independent Commission and its two bosses are being sued on behalf of riders who spoke out against doping.Good.
Kimmage is effectively saying, “Let’s get this out in the open, but properly in the open with full disclosure and plenty of witnesses.” Good
Hein Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid must be rueing day they launched the action against Kimmage and stirred an entire community into action.Good