Irish journalist Paul Kimmage has filed a legal suit in Switzerland against UCI president Pat McQuaid and honourary president Hein Verbruggen, accusing them of "strong suspicions of fraud".
Last month Kimmage quoted the movie Gladiator promising to "unleash hell" on the UCI. The UCI had been suing Kimmage for defamation over claims the journalist had made regarding doping by Lance Armstrong and the UCI’s acceptance of cash from Armstrong.
Kimmage is currently unemployed. His defence against the UCI’s defamation case is being supported by the ‘Paul Kimmage defence fund’ set up by Nyvelocity.com. Last week the UCI suspended its case against Kimmage.
The criminal complaint – not being paid for by the Nyvelocity.com defence fund – was filed by Kimmage’s attorneys on behalf of 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 Kimmage legal defence fund has so far raised over $85,000.
A statement from Kimmage’s attorney said the journalist, a former pro rider and who wrote a whistleblowing book about drugs in cycling, was being "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."