Saturday 20 January 2018

Kimmage spends €46,000 to defend defamation case by ex-UCI president

Paul Kimmage: has come out fighting in defamation case
Paul Kimmage: has come out fighting in defamation case
Hein Verbruggen: claims
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

Paul Kimmage has come out fighting during a preliminary hearing in a court case taken against him by former UCI president Hein Verbruggen.

Despite having already spent more than €46,000 in legal fees, Mr Kimmage said that he will not stand down after Verbruggen claimed he was defamed by the journalist.

A preliminary hearing was held yesterday in Vevey, Switzerland, where the judge suggested that both sides come to reconciliation.

However, Kimmage said that the terms on offer to him were unacceptable.

"There was a deal on the table that was totally unacceptable to me. It would have meant an apology and a betrayal of everything that I have been fighting for the last 25 years and I couldn't do that," he said.

"He is demanding an apology and an assurance that I won't write about him again. That wasn't acceptable for me," he added.

"It would be contrary to everything that I believe in."

Verbruggen launched a suit against Kimmage in 2012 after he criticised the former UCI president's handling of the doping culture within cycling.

Kimmage had also brought into question the relationship that Verbruggen had with Lance Armstrong.

"I am not setting myself up as some sort of martyr here. I do not enjoy this one bit but there is a principle involved that is important and worth fighting for," said Kimmage.

Kimmage was unemployed when he was issued with the writ, at a time he said he felt vulnerable, the court heard.

A date has yet to be set for the next hearing but Kimmage said that the case has already come at a significant personal cost.

"It has been going on for more than three years now and the costs have gone over €46,000," he said.

Irish Independent

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