Paul Kimmage: UCI lawsuits are 'attempt to silence me'

Rider turned journalist has led 22-year campaign against doping in the sport

by Sarah Barth   September 29, 2012  

UCI logo on white

An ex-journalist at the Sunday Times has said he being sued for defamation by the UCI as an attempt to silence his 22-year fight to expose the extent of doping.

Paul Kimmage, was made redundant from the paper in January and received notice of a lawsuit in Switzerland two weeks later. He will face a court in the town of Vevey, near Geneva, on 12 December.

As we reported last week, the website NY Velocity has publicised a fighting fund to help him meet the costs of his defence in the lawsuit. The fund now stands at $43,400.

Kimmage told Press Gazette he was “not surprised, but astonished” that the UCI continued to pursue him even after Lance Armstrong had thrown in the towel over his doping allegations, effectively vindicating the journalist.

“Given the tidal wave of evidence out there about Armstrong and the degree to which the governing body were complicit in that, I’m absolutely astonished that they are pursuing this,” he said.

Kimmage said he had “absolutely no idea what it’s [the legal action] going to cost but I don’t imagine it’s going to be cheap”.

Asked why he was being personally targeted, he replied: “I think it’s purely a gagging order. They want to try to shut me up basically.”

Enrico Carpani, communications director at the UCI, said: "The 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.”

Kimmage says that the extent of the defence fund in his name means that he is now in a position to defend his case in the court, and is meeting his Swiss lawyers next week.

7 user comments

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Outrageous.

Best of luck Paul.

posted by ajd [25 posts]
29th September 2012 - 16:20

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As pre Post That is a uotrageous place to be put in &
as pre Best of British Paul !

Alex7

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posted by Baldy1alex [45 posts]
29th September 2012 - 16:38

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It's pretty shocking that the UCI is allowed under Swiss law to bring a case of defamation against the writer – it should be the publisher they take on. Except they know that News International has very deep pockets.

posted by Campag_10 [153 posts]
29th September 2012 - 19:28

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Re Paul Kimmage and his “cancer” remark.

Everyone who has battled cancer is a hero.

My partner is a cancer survivor and an inspiration. Over 24 years we and our families have lived in fear of it returning. For there is no cure, only remission. Many other victims we have known, and their families, have been a great deal less fortunate.

To call a cancer survivor a cancer himself is appalling. It is the greatest insult to any cancer victim, as it is to many, many others --- to their family, to their friends, to the brilliant medics, to the dedicated and devoted nurses, to the hospital staff such as receptionists, record-keepers, porters and cleaners, to the thousands, paid and voluntary, who run the hospices and charity shops, to the people in the street who give their time, their energy, their mickles and muckles to fund more research, more care, more WILL to carry the battle on.

To call an icon of cancer fighting and cancer survival like Lance Armstrong a cancer himself is worse than a crime, worse than a mistake, it is a barbaric act of total ignorance , indeed of war, against everyone in the cancer suffering, cancer fighting and cancer survival community.

However, though Lance was obviously hurt and angered, and despite the threat to his health that such stress-inducing vileness obviously poses, he behaved then and has behaved since with admirable, exemplary restraint. The worst one can say against Lance the professional road racer is, one, that he seems neither better nor worse in his competitive attitude than many other champions; and, two, that he has been an athlete so superior to his peers that in the years of his supremacy he made the Tour de France utterly boring. And the worst one can say about him as a cancer awareness campaigner and fund-raiser is that he is second to very few indeed.

Those of us in the fight against cancer will take it on until we triumph. And those in this world who make a living by fishing in troubled waters, and reviling the great, will be lucky to get even a footnote in history.

The chance of getting cancer in the UK is one in three. So indirectly or directly we are all of us in the fight against it, or pretty darn close to it, or will be at some time in our lives. So we should all say to Lance: Thanks, and we hope that for many years to come you will be able to carry on the great work.

posted by MaxGiga [1 posts]
30th September 2012 - 13:16

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MaxGiga wrote:
Re Paul Kimmage and his “cancer” remark.

Everyone who has battled cancer is a hero.

My partner is a cancer survivor and an inspiration. Over 24 years we ................ So we should all say to Lance: Thanks, and we hope that for many years to come you will be able to carry on the great work.

Interesting first post. You really do have the wrong end of the stick, don't you. Perhaps you should have read up a bit more on the Paul Kimmage, UCI, Armstrong debate before having a rant, there's been plenty of it on road.cc over the past weeks and months.

This is not about Armstrong and it's not about denying the good that he probably did with his high profile.

It's about a small-minded corrupt organisation trying to silence a long-term critic because, now that Armstrong has effectively given up a loosing battle to clear his name, Paul Kimmage has been vindicated in the stand he took against McQuaid, Verbruggen and various others and they don't like it.

Yes, we've all been touched by cancer, even me; but it doesn't stop me supporting Paul Kimmage's defence fund.

Armstrong is an untreated cancer in the body of cycling and by vindictively pursuing Paul Kimmage the UCI are trying to protect themselves and not the sport they are supposed to represent.

It takes a big man to admit that they are wrong. Neither Armstrong or the UCI have proven they fit the bill.

Did Nightrider 2013 and 2014 for Parkinson's UK. Might just have one last go in 2015.

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posted by jova54 [619 posts]
30th September 2012 - 16:12

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MaxGiga I'm sorry that your life has been blighted by cancer. Mine too - my mother died of breast cancer and my sister has recently had a masectomy. I know all too well what cancer can do.

But calling someone a 'cancer' is not an act of war, or barbarism or any of the other melodramatic nonsense you've just written. It is a fairly apt description of someone who sucks all the nutrients (money) out of a given situation in order to feed themselves and grow - to the detriment and possibly even death of the host (or sport?). Lying to millions of people and offering false inspiration on the other hand, probably SHOULD be a crime. Pumping yourself full of illegal PEDs and quite probably giving yourself cancer in the first place should be a crime. Attacking and destroying the careers of GENUINELY clean riders, or concerned journalists trying to uncover the lies - THAT should be a crime.

Your opinions here are shockingly uninformed...which makes sense, since the most cursory research will tell you enough to make you quite embarrassed about what you've written here.

Cancer is a terrible, terrible thing for anyone to have to deal with, and I wish you and anyone else who needs it strength and luck in the fight against it. But no - we should NOT all say thanks to Lance. For cheating, lying to us on an industrial scale, making himself enormously rich in the process...yeah, I can't wait to thank him. He has caused untold damage to cycling...hell, untold damage to sport! And we still don't have a cure for cancer...

Armstrong was and still IS cycling's cancer. That moniker is as suitable now as it was when it was written.

posted by Lacticlegs [124 posts]
1st October 2012 - 13:21

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So we should all say to Lance: Thanks, and we hope that for many years to come you will be able to carry on the great work.

I'll say thanks to those who have put time, effort and/or money into research/treatment, personally.

posted by andyp [898 posts]
2nd October 2012 - 11:31

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