Journalist, author and former professional cyclist Paul Kimmage is preparing to take on the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) with the help of public donations. The international cycling body subpoenaed the Irishman to appear in a Swiss Court on December 12 for articles he has written and an interview that he gave last year.

“The fact that they targeted me was quite vindictive, and it was all about keeping me quiet, getting a gagging order on me,” Kimmage told Cycling Weekly yesterday. “They just want to shut me up and give me a public slap.”

UCI President Pat McQuaid and former president, Hein Verbruggen claim, according to Ireland’s Sunday Independent, Kimmage was “dishonest” in accusing them of “having knowingly tolerated [adverse findings in anti-doping] tests, of being dishonest people, of not having a sense of responsibility, of not applying the same rules to everyone.”

Kimmage wrote pieces on the subject for the Sunday Times and gave an interview to France’s L’Equipe newspaper in 2011. Part of his material resulted from an extensive interview with former rider Floyd Landis in January 2011.

According to Kimmage, McQuaid and Verbruggen had damaged their own reputations beforehand.

“Their reputation has been damaged by the fact they’ve been at the helm at the professional cycling, between the two of them, for more than 20 years. If it was any other profession, if you were to apply their incompetence, they would’ve been sacked years ago.”

He received the subpoena on September 19 to appear at Est Vaudois district court. The initial news came as a blow for Kimmage, who was made redundant from the Sunday Times after writing for them for 10 years.

A legal fund has been established to help Kimmage defend his stance has shown widespread support for his work. At time of writing, 1219 people have contributed a total of $39,872 (£24,600).

“I understand, they are supporting me, but essentially it’s not about me,” Kimmage said. “Outside of my immediate circle of friends, I believe [that for] everybody else it’s about [the UCI’s] incompetence. That’s what it’s about.”

Kimmage spent yesterday morning selecting his lawyer and starting to plan his defence. He said he will use the fund to pay his lawyer and fly in witnesses. One may be former pro cyclist Tyler Hamilton, who also claimed the UCI covered up positive tests.

“My intention would be to fill a Boeing 747 full of people, but that won’t actually be enough, in terms of people who’ve been disenfranchised and have witnessed how badly the sport’s been run firsthand.”

The UCI is seeking 8,000 Swiss francs (£5,260) and a printed apology. Kimmage questioned why the federation is after him and not the Sunday Times or L’Equipe. McQuaid said last week, “We’ve also done the same thing against Floyd Landis, so it’s not a question of [free] press, it’s a question of who says what.”

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  • milton

    kimmage as head of UCI that would be strange a doper at the helm of cycling odd world we live in

  • MJ

    I had never heard of the UCI before, but last week I started reading about the L.A. case. And it immediately became clear to me the UCI has been condoning doping, as it has made cycling more popular and has brought in $$$.
    I hope Mr Kimmage comes up with the funds needed.

  • BFG

    The entire top tier of the UCI should have been arrested for sporting fraud along time ago. I would however settle for them being sacked and replaced by people not tainted in corruption. I would really love to see Paul Kimmage as the new head of the UCI. Can you imagine how many existing pro’s and old pro’s would suddenly disappear!

  • peter williams

    Agree with the comments already made – it doesn’t matter whether you like his style or not, cycling has to have the real questions answered if it is to move on. Too many avoid the real issues and that’s why the sport gets dragged through the mud every single year. The UCI are incompetent and should be cleaned out from top to bottom. Mr Kimmage should be supported, win his case and then the real clean up can start.

  • JD

    I don’t always agree with Kimmage’s style but as a fan I feel obliged to support him against an organisation that has its paws all over the mess cycling has got itself into.

  • Hovis

    For all the hassle he’s had over the years from the ‘establishment’ for writing Rough Ride, now pretty much accepted as the truth, he deserves all the support he can get. Especially against some idiot who ignored the almost universally accepted ban on competing in apartheid South Africa. Why is Pat McQuaid still there? He makes Sepp Blatter look good!

  • stuart stanton

    I never liked Paul Kimmage very much, I believed the tone of ‘Rough Ride’ was that of a loser……….but that was in the past, let’s support him to the hilt on this one and get the whole self-righteous gang at the ‘top’ run out of town on a rail.

  • Jon

    I’ve chipped in. The sooner these crooks are kicked out of the sport the better for everyone.

  • Ian Franklin

    Well done Paul! It is quite an achievement to get sued by McQuaid – I do not understand how this man has been at the helm of our international sporting body for so many years. The misdeeds and appalling management of the UCI hierarchy are transparent to all and Paul, may I wish you all the best. Armstrong has been difficult to shift and the same may apply to our leader! But let’s face it, those with problems of social pathology are always tenacious!

  • Mark Jones

    There’s already an extra 50 contributors since this article was written. Hope Paul can raise sufficient funds to defend himself properly against McQuaid and Verbruggen and it’s good to see all the cycling press are behind this. I have provided a small contribution as I’m sure it’ll all help and hopefully some well paid cyclists who daren’t speak out against the UCI for fear of retribution will contribute significant amounts to the fund.