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Irish journalist files Swiss defamation case
Irish journalist Paul Kimmage has filed a legal action against UCI president Pat McQuaid and former UCI president Hein Verbruggen, accusing the pair of slander/defamation, denigration and "strong suspicions of fraud".
The criminal complaint was filed in Vevey, Switzerland today by Kimmage's attorneys on behalf of both Kimmage and his fellow "whistle-blowers Stephen Swart, Frankie Andreu, Floyd Landis, Christophe Bassons, Nicolas Aubier, Gilles 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."
The action is a counter-suit to a defamation case brought against Kimmage by McQuaid and Verbruggen, who objected to comments made by Kimmage in an interview. McQuaid specified that the complaint referred to statements accusing the UCI of being corrupt.
“This is about a journalist who accused me and my predecessor and the UCI of being corrupt, and it’s a straightforward defamation case," McQuaid said last month.
A legal defense fund was created after the suit against Kimmage became public, and to date has raised over $85,000.
At a recent meeting of the UCI management committee, however, it was announced that the defamation case against Kimmage has been suspended.
The press release sent by attorney Cédric Aguet states that Kimmage 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 with Floyd Landis in which the latter denounced the conduct of the highest officials of the International Cycling Union (UCI).
"In addition, Paul Kimmage informs the Swiss criminal authorities of the strong suspicions which weigh on at least Hein Verbruggen to have granted, directly or indirectly, the essential assistance which allowed Lance Armstrong to gain significant sums of money in and out of competition while he was doped."