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1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Cycling: Paul Kimmage defence fund against UCI action takes off

Le Tour@Pauillac 2010

Paul Kimmage, who has campaigned for 22 years against doping in cycling is being sued for defamation by the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) in an action initiated by Pat McQuaid, the current president, and Hein Verbruggen, its honorary president.
The lawsuit was launched against Kimmage two weeks after he was made redundant by The Sunday Times in January. He was served with a subpoena on Wednesday 19th September, which summons him to a court hearing in Vevey, close to Geneva on 12th December.
The defamation case relates to allegations published in L'Equipe and The Sunday Times that the 'UCI were complicit in covering up positive tests by Lance Armstrong'. Unusually the UCI's action is only against Kimmage and not The Sunday Times or L'Equipe. The action arises from an interview with Floyd Landis in 2011, which is now available here on Velocity.
Following the serving of the subpoena a defence fund has been set up and already $43,522.49 has been raised with contributions from 1357 donors*. The Paul Kimmage defence fund is here. Kimmage has claimed that the UCI action is designed to shut him up.
Tyler Hamilton, who has made similar allegations in his new book The Secret Race, is not being sued. See here interview in The Guardian
Enrico Carpani, communications director at the UCI, said it was  “normal – at least under Swiss law – that when the author of the denounced statements is known, this author is sued and not the editor”.
He added: “Please bear in mind also that the Sunday Times had put a disclaimer on the Landis-Kimmage interview.
“Having said that, UCI is not trying to silent the press at all, nor to question the freedom of journalists: we are just defending our self from unacceptable and defaming statements made by a journalist who never could prove his allegations.” See report here.
Given the support that Kimmage is now receiving along with continuing revelations of the extent in the recent past of the doping culture in professional cycling the action by the UCI, McQuaid and Verbruggen looks increasingly like a PR disaster. 

* Update 23.30 CET: $44,150 from 1389 contributors. 



Ian S said...

I do hope the reason for the USADA delay on the Armstrong case file, is that they're sitting on the sort of evidence that would have Kimmage's case laughed out of court.

As a cycling fan, I find the sport ill-served by those two gentlemen. Change is definitely needed, either within UCI, or as is becoming increasingly likely, that the sport will splinter. Perhaps the only thing stopping it is the inherent distrust amongst the teams (oh and an unhealthy dose of 'Omerta').


Jim Budd said...

Ian. Many thanks. I believe that the USADA file will be with the UCI by mid-October. I have seen it suggested that the delay in sending it is due to fresh evidence now being given following Armstrong's decision not to fight the case. This may or may not be the case.

Given what is now emerging and may be further reinforced once the USADA docs are made public, I do find the UCI action against Kimmage grotesquely ill-advised.