UCI court action sees Kimmage summoned to appear before Swiss court in December
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Thursday, September 20, 2012

UCI court action sees Kimmage summoned to appear before Swiss court in December

by Shane Stokes at 9:17 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Anti-doping journalist sued by cycling’s governing body

UCIAlthough USADA’s reasoned judgement on the Lance Armstrong case will shortly be delivered to the UCI and WADA and is expected to include serious claims about a 2001 doping positive, the UCI is pressing ahead with a legal action against anti-doping journalist Paul Kimmage.

The Irishman received a subpoena yesterday from the Tribunal D'Arrondissement de L'Est Vaudois in Vevey, close to the residences of both Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen. A case initiated by the current and former presidents of the UCI will be heard at 9am on December 12th, and sees the UCI call a number of witnesses.

These include Irish race promoter Alan Rushton, former Milram manager Gerry Van Gerwen, as well as Richard Chassot, Daniel Malbranque, Pablo Anton, Claude Jacquat and Jean-Pierre Strebel.

Last January it emerged that Verbruggen and McQuaid had launched a claim stating that Kimmage was ‘dishonest’ in accusing them of ‘having knowingly tolerated tests, of being dishonest people, of not having a sense of responsibility, of not applying the same rules to everyone.’

The UCI has been under scrutiny in relation to the Lance Armstrong situation and it is thought that the complaint against Kimmage relates in part to an interview carried out with Floyd Landis. Both that rider and Tyler Hamilton have claimed the UCI shielded the Texan.

USADA has gathered evidence in its investigation into Armstrong and the US Postal Service team and its charges against the rider included the claim that he tested positive at the 2001 Tour de Suisse, but that the case never went any further. The UCI insists the allegation is false and that a cover up didn’t happen.

McQuaid and Verbruggen’s action was launched in January and has been taken against Kimmage personally, rather than against l’Equipe and his former employer, the Sunday Times. The UCI has reportedly pointed to articles in both publications as being the reason for its complaint.

The Sunday Independent reported on January 29th that McQuaid and Verbruggen were each seeking damages of 8,000 Swiss francs (about €6,600) from Kimmage.

The two UCI officials are demanding that he doesn’t repeat the statements made before about the governing body, and also that he pays for advertisements in international media publicising the final judgement of the court.

The newspaper stated that they told the Swiss District Court that Kimmage has caused them ‘annoyance’ and that their ‘reputation has been seriously damaged’ by articles.

Since the publication of his book A Rough Ride in 1990, Kimmage has built a reputation of speaking out against doping and corruption in cycling. He has won multiple awards as a journalist, and has had several clashes with the UCI.

Kimmage declined to give a comment today, but previously spoke about the matter to VeloNation. In January he said that it appeared a decision had been made to target him personally and thus prevent him having the legal assistance of the two publications.

“Clearly they [McQuaid and Verbruggen] don’t want that to happen, which is why they have targeted me rather than the newspapers. That would be my reading of it.”

The legal action against Kimmage has led to strong criticism from several journalists, including David Walsh. The chief sportswriter of the Sunday Times is another who has written at length about doping in cycling, and has raised questions of the UCI’s relationship with Armstrong.

“I am appalled that cycling’s governing body is suing the greatest anti-doping rider to have ever finished the Tour de France,” he told VeloNation today. “It tells you about UCI and where it is coming from.”

Last year Verbruggen dismissed the claims of drug use against the Texan. “That's impossible, because there is nothing. I repeat once again: Lance Armstrong has never used doping,” he told AD.nl. “Never, never, never.”


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