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Hein Verbruggen says he will remain UCI honorary president

Dutchman agrees in return to drop legal action against UCI and Brian Cookson

Hein Verbruggen says he will remain honorary president of the UCI after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) brokered an agreement between him and the governing body’s president, Brian Cookson, reports the website, Inside the Games. However, Cookson has since said that he now considers that agreement null.

Verbruggen, who was UCI president from 1991 to 2005 when he was succeeded by Pat McQuaid, has agreed in return to drop the lawsuit he brought against the organisation following publication of the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) report in March this year.

> Doping still widespread in pro cycling, says CIRC

That report, ordered by Cookson four months after his election in September 2013 and compiled by a three-man panel headed by Swiss politician and lawyer Dick Marty, claimed that Verbruggen and McQuaid helped disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong cover up his doping.

While it absolved both former presidents of covering up positive tests and of corruption, it did claim that they protected Armstrong and others in an era when the sport was reeling from the Festina scandal at the 1998 Tour de France.

> Verbruggen says Armstrong made his life "a misery”

Cookson requested Verbruggen to step down from his position as honorary president, which the Dutchman refused to do, instead threatening to sue him and the UCI. He also appealed to the IOC’s Ethics Commission.

According to Inside the Games, in July the IOC mediated between the parties, who reached an agreement.

Verbruggen revealed that the agreement included a provision that “Mr Cookson renounces definitively from asking me to resign from my Honorary-Presidency and agrees not to mention this question anymore publicly or privately."

He said the UCI would pay him a reported €40,000 in consideration of his having incurred legal fees, and will also be required to publish his reservations on the allegations contained in the CIRC report on its website.

The UCI has since sent a statement from Cookson, who said that no money had been paid and that he considered the agreement null. 

“Those close to cycling know very well where the UCI went wrong in the past, including the conflicts it needlessly got into and which seriously damaged its credibility. I was elected to change the way the UCI conducts itself and therefore, following a request from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), I indeed met with Mr Hein Verbruggen last summer.

“We came to a confidential agreement which was to ensure, amongst other things, that he would stop using his influence to criticise and cause trouble for the UCI. Since Mr Verbruggen never respected his commitments, the agreement is considered null. No money has ever been paid to Mr Verbruggen since I became President.”

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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DaveE128 | 8 years ago
0 likes seems a different take on the situation! Timing with ASO and PRA makes the conspiracy theorist in me wonder if there is a plot to oust Cookson...

Ginsterdrz | 8 years ago

Call me thick but what is the difference between 'not covering up Armstrongs doping' but finding that Verbruggen 'protected' Armstrong? 

Do these committees and people in power actually realise how this appears to the layman?

In other news: Verbruggen takes on Sepp Blatter as his new PR chief.

SevenHills | 8 years ago

I would have said Fuck it see you in court. The fact that all he is worried about is retaining his honoury position means that he knows he could not disprove his involvement in protecting Armstrong. Now he remains associated with the sport and he gets money towards legal expenses.


Should have taken him to court and bankrupted the tosser!Missed opportunity. FIFA have managed to get rid of Blatter the UCI should have managed to get rid of Verbruggen.

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