News24

UCI face Armstrong probe

2012-11-02 14:48

Zurich - An Irish journalist filed a criminal complaint against International Cycling Union leaders Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen, accusing them of protecting Lance Armstrong while he won seven Tour de France titles.

Paul Kimmage, a former Tour rider and vocal anti-doping campaigner, alleges defamation and fraud in the case filed in Switzerland.

Kimmage's Swiss lawyer, Cedric Aguet, told The Associated Press on Friday that a 28-page file was submitted to the local prosecutor's office in Vevey, near UCI headquarters.

The lawyer said prosecutors could decide "within two weeks" to open criminal proceedings.

"We are talking here about a possible massive fraud," Aguet said in a telephone interview. "If one or both are considered as responsible for assisting Mr. Lance Armstrong it would be several years in prison. The maximum penalty is five years."

The UCI recently agreed to strip Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles and ban him for life, following a report from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that accused him of leading a massive doping program on his teams.

The USADA report included sworn witness testimony that Armstrong said the governing body helped cover up his positive or suspicious doping tests at the 1999 Tour de France and 2001 Tour of Switzerland.

McQuaid, the current UCI president, and Verbruggen, his predecessor, deny the allegations. Last week, the UCI ordered an independent commission to examine its conduct in the Armstrong case. The panel's report is due by next June.

Kimmage's complaint says there are "strong suspicions" that the UCI and its leaders, either directly or indirectly, helped Armstrong earn "significant sums of money in and out of competition while he was doped." Armstrong faces demands to repay almost $4 million in Tour prize money alone from his 1999-2005 victory run.

"All that took place in Switzerland, within the premises of the UCI in Aigle. This is why we consider the criminal authorities in Vevey" have jurisdiction, Aguet said.

Kimmage's complaint was filed six days after McQuaid and Verbruggen suspended their defamation suit against him, stemming from an interview he conducted with Floyd Landis, a former Armstrong teammate and key USADA witness. Landis said UCI leaders acted corruptly and protected star riders from scrutiny.

AP

Comments
  • wordis.word.1 - 2012-11-02 15:20

    This article raises a virus warning on my pc, just sayin..

  • alfred.killian - 2012-11-02 15:22

    Tour de Farce: I find all these acquisations against Armstrong quite strange: He was tipped of before drug tests, the police were not allowed to raid his hotel, when he had a positive test, it w as squased", Asuming it is true, the question comes to mind, who was behind it all. Looking at the acquisations it must be the highest authority in the sport, but why, I can only think of one reason (mon ey is the root of all evil). A guy, who is an exceptional cyclist, survives cancer(after he had a 5%change to survive), He wins the Tdf 7x, viewer numbers skyrocket, he is an American a big country, with not much interest prior to theircancer survivors participation. I suppose, the organisers is not going to give the money back to tv stations for broadcasting rights,(they made it a farce to get more viewers), Viewers, who got taken for a "ride" to watch this spectackle cant claim for watching it till midnight.(time wasting) All the others cyclists were force to dope(without permission) to compete with Lance, I cant claim the money back, wich I lost by betting on Ulrich, and Lance should not give his titles back, he was just a pawn. People who watch WWF, are not so different after all

      Jimmy NZ - 2012-11-02 15:56

      Mate, that's the most sensible comment I've read read out of the thousands. Well done! There is hope out there :)

      roussouw.badenhorst - 2012-11-02 19:17

      Yep, been thinking about it for a long time... Rugby: Brice Lawrence rigs the World Cup, becomes ref of the year. Award by highest authority (NZ) in that sport. Cricket: Hansie Cronje, buy a no-ball in the Pak vs Eng and the ongoing match fixing scandals. Do you see the highest authority in the sport taking action? It does become more like WWF day by day... Don't you just love being a Lemming? :-)

      Jimmy NZ - 2012-11-03 08:34

      Hey bitter bok fan, read the facts about BL... His apparent brain freeze was due to Australian pressure and had nothing to do with NZRU. Besides you guys still can't score points when you need to #delussions of grandeur!

      roussouw.badenhorst - 2012-11-03 10:12

      @Jimmy - Did not say you guys had anything to do with it... The commercial value of a NZ AUS final in Australasia just beats the value of a NZ SA final. It is all about generating value to advertisers. Keeping the audience captive and involved. Money. From F1 to cricket to rugby all the way down to WWF measures are taken on all levels to increase viewer numbers. And not in a way that is always above board. Yet we laugh at women watching soap operas. It has all become corrupted by big business and in my view the only way to see the real sport is to go and watch school level competitions. Not bitter here, but let's face it, sport is now part of the entertainment industry.

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