Former International Cycling Union (UCI) President Hein Verbruggen has alleged Brian Cookson and the the world governing body breached their agreement to pay his legal costs after he threatened to take them to court over the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) report.
Verbruggen has claimed he started a court case against the UCI and Cookson, as well as lodging a complaint to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Ethics Commission earlier this year following the CIRC report which investigated historic cases of doping in the sport.
The CHF2.25 million (£1.5 million/$2.26 million/€2 million) report claimed Verbruggen and his predecessor Pat McQuaid colluded with Lance Armstrong to help him avoid being caught for doping.
Both Verbruggen and McQuaid were each cleared of concealing failed tests and corruption but were alleged to have protected top cyclists during the Armstrong era.
Verbruggen, the UCI President between 1991 and 2005, criticised the report as a “political manoeuvre” and threatened to sue the UCI and Cookson.
The Dutchman revealed to insidethegames earlier this week, however, that the IOC mediated between him and Cookson in July, with an agreement signed to end legal proceedings.
In response Cookson claimed that "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.”
Verbruggen claimed that under the terms of the agreement 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”, while the UCI were required to publish text on their website regarding his reservations on the CIRC-report, as well as a link to his website.
Finally, the Dutchman asserted that Cookson would accept “a financial contribution will be paid by the UCI to Mr. Verbruggen” due to the him having to invest in a legal team to rebut the report, but Cookson responded by declaring "no money has ever been paid to Mr Verbruggen since I became President."
The 74-year-old now alleges Cookson and the UCI have breached the terms of their agreement, signed on July 8, by failing to pay his costs.
insidethegames understands the sum agreed that would be paid to Verbruggen, an honorary member of the IOC and former President of SportAccord, is around €40,000 (£29,000/$43,000).
“Both Cookson/UCI and Verbruggen have executed all obligations under that agreement except that the UCI did not pay the agreed-upon contribution to Verbruggen’s costs,” Verbruggen told insidethegames.
“Now that this obligation and the corresponding breach of contract have become public, Cookson, almost half-a-year after the agreement was signed, comes up with a fabricated argument that Verbruggen would not have respected the agreement; conveniently not specifying the alleged breach.
“Besides, Verbruggen has never been informed by Cookson that in the latter’s view he would have done something in breach of the agreement.
“The agreement has been validly signed, has been fully executed except for the payment by UCI, and remains fully in place, it is for Cookson/UCI to live up to their signature.”
The Dutchman had come under pressure to resign from his position as the Honorary President by Cookson, following the publication of the 227-page report in March.
Complied by Swiss politician and state prosecutor Dr Dick Marty, with the support of German anti-doping expert Professor Ulrich Haas and Peter Nicholson, a former Australian military officer who specialises in criminal investigations, the report was aimed at investigating how doping had become widespread in the sport in the 1990s and 2000s.
When contacted by insidethegames the UCI stated there would be no further comment from their side, following Cookson's response earlier this week.
"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," Cookson stated in response to Verbruggen on Monday.
"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."