Verbruggen ready to launch his attack on the CIRC report

Cookson dismisses former UCI president's threat of legal action

Former UCI president Hein Verbruggen will reportedly launch a personal website on Wednesday detailing his opposition to the findings of the Cycling Independent Reform Commission, published in March. According to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Verbruggen has labelled the investigation into doping and his role as UCI President at the time as "factually inaccurate, incomplete, biased and disrespectful".

De Telegraaf suggests that Verbruggen's next step could be to start legal action to clear his name.

Verbruggen's website will reportedly reveal some of his correspondence with the CIRC investigators and the full report Verbruggen compiled about the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for CIRC.   

In April, Verbruggen penned a 3,350-word letter to the UCI Management Committee that that questioned the validity of the CIRC report and rejected the appeal for his resignation. In the letter, Verbruggen threatened to take legal action against any attempts to withdraw his title of honorary president, which had been suggested by current UCI President Brian Cookson.

"Even this defence of our sport is now being used against me by the CIRC and Mr. Cookson. But make no mistake, I am proud of it. I defended our sport (not doping!) when we were being unfairly treated and receiving undeserved criticism. In doing so, I defended also the reputation and the integrity of the UCI anti-doping workers, be it staff or volunteers! Instead of taking away honorary titles, Mr. Cookson should rather follow the example of this "dictator" and defend his sport and his athletes in the same way as I did," Verbruggen wrote.

“The wild conspiracy theories and accusations have all been properly debunked once and for all. I am pleased that this report confirms my complete innocence concerning these accusations which have been levelled at me in the past.”

In April, Cookson told the Guardian newspaper that he was "very concerned by what I read in the report about Hein’s actions and I will write to him asking him to consider his position as honorary president,” adding that Verbruggen had made “serious errors of judgment and wrong decisions”. 

Cookson dismissed Verbruggen's latest attacks when contacted for comment by Cyclingnews, claiming that the CIRC investigation and its report had helped restore trust in cycling and the UCI. 

"If Mr. Verbruggen wishes to sue the UCI, that of course is a matter for him," he said in a brief statement sent to Cyclingnews. "However, I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that the CIRC report was a wholly independent investigation led by an extremely reputable and experienced team of experts. Their report and recommendations have been very helpful in rebuilding trust in cycling and the UCI". 

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