McQuaid ends his part in legal action against Kimmage, Verbruggen persists
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Sunday, February 16, 2014

McQuaid ends his part in legal action against Kimmage, Verbruggen persists

by Shane Stokes at 9:18 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Journalist pleased with CIRC investigation but believes start date of inquiry should a decade earlier

Pat McQuaidFormer UCI president Pat McQuaid has dropped his legal action against his fellow Irishman Paul Kimmage. The journalist and former professional has told VeloNation that his lawyer received notification this week that McQuaid was withdrawing from the lawsuit originally initiated two years ago.

Despite that, the suit itself will persist as the other person involved, McQuaid’s predecessor Hein Verbruggen, has decided to continue.

“I’m glad to hear that one of them is stopping their involvement,” Kimmage told VeloNation. “That said, I don't understand why McQuaid would drop it but not Verbruggen. What he [Verbruggen] is doing makes no sense and hasn’t made sense for a long time now. I can’t put any logic to it or explain it in any way.”

In January 2012 McQuaid and Verbruggen initiated legal proceedings against Kimmage, who had long been critical of doping in cycling and the way the UCI dealt with it.

The duo claimed they were defamed by articles in the Sunday Times and L’Equipe. Kimmage was issued with a summons on September 19th of that year, compelling him to attend a trial in Switzerland on December 12th.

That hearing subsequently didn’t take place as on October 26th 2012, days after it received and accepted USADA’s reasoned decision on Lance Armstrong and the US Postal Service team, the UCI announced that it was putting the case on hold.

It was facing considerable pressure at the time due to the release of the USADA report, and had been criticised for suing a journalist who had long campaigned for a cleaner sport.

That appeared to be the end of the matter, but things turned out differently. While new UCI president Brian Cookson said in October that the UCI was calling a halt to its part in the case, VeloNation reported earlier this month that Verbruggen and McQuaid had reactivated the action.

It is not clear why the latter has now decided to call a halt to his part in that. “All I can say is that it is another burden lifted from my shoulders and I am pleased,” stated Kimmage.

The news comes days after the Cycling Independent Reform Commission announced its terms of reference for an investigation which will look into the Lance Armstrong scandal, the culture of doping in the sport and also the past roles of UCI officials such as McQuaid and Verbruggen.

It is aiming to determine if the UCI helped to protect Armstrong in any way.

Kimmage told VeloNation that he has seen the term of reference and is keen to see what the CIRC will achieve.

“I’m wondering if I can make a contribution,” he said, while also calling on any others with information to do the same.

“I think the investigation is good, but the only worry I have is that it starts in 1998. If they go further back and start in 1989 there is a better logic to it.

“Verbruggen came in in 1990, which is also when the peloton went into EPO. That would seem a lot more logical for me in terms of a start date. I think they would do a lot better if they did it then.

“I could certainly make a contribution. I think I’ll talk to them. I feel it is important that anybody who can make a contribution does that too.”

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