Hein Verbruggen has complained about four officials to the IOC Ethics Commission ©Getty Images

Former International Cycling Union (UCI) President Hein Verbruggen has complained about four officials to the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Ethics Commission after launching a stinging attack on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The Dutchman, an honorary member of the IOC, has targeted Richard Pound, the Canadian former chairman of WADA, as well as the organisation's outgoing director general David Howman.

Verbruggen has also lodged complaints about United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) chief executive Travis Tygart and Bill Bock, an American lawyer influential in bringing down shamed cyclist Lance Armstrong.

In a statement he accused WADA - who have strongly denied his claims - of subjecting him and the UCI - which he served as President between 1991 and 2005 - to a "hate campaign".

He has always taken particular issue with the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) report which explored cycling's doping culture and was commissioned by current UCI President Brian Cookson in January 2014.

Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid, who succeeded him as the UCI President, were both cleared of concealing failed tests and corruption but the pair were alleged to have protected top cyclists during the Armstrong era.

The 74-year-old Verbruggen claimed suggestions that he had attempted to cover-up positive tests recorded by Armstrong, who was eventually stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, were "very close" to criminal behaviour.

The Dutchman had threatened to sue the UCI but an agreement was signed with Cookson to end legal proceedings.

The deal also saw him retain his role as Honorary Presidency of the governing body.

Verbruggen claimed that WADA had close involvement in the appointment of the CIRC members and as such it was not a fair process.

Hein Verbruggen has taken aim at former WADA chairman Richard Pound ©Getty Images
Hein Verbruggen has taken aim at former WADA chairman Richard Pound ©Getty Images

He said that the involvement of Ulrich Haas, who had worked with WADA and was accepted to become the chairman of the UCI’s Anti-Doping Tribunal, represented a conflict of interest.

Verbruggen has also alleged that the organisation had focused most of its attentions on cycling - suggesting that sports such as athletics, which is currently embroiled in its own doping crisis, should have received more attention.

Pound, also an IOC member, was the chairman of the WADA Independent Commission which revealed details of state-sponsored doping in Russian athletics.

"I have lodged a complaint against Pound, Howman, Tygart and Bock with the Ethics Commission of the IOC, a body that I trust to remain fully objective," said Verbruggen.

"I am also taking other steps to deal with WADA’s misdeeds.

"It was a serious omission in the past not to create some form of supervisory authority over WADA, such as an Ethics Commission to which an aggrieved party could appeal.

"The former President of the World Anti-Doping Agency Dick Pound is now portraying himself as the great cleaner of athletics.

"However WADA has been aware of the problem that existed in athletics for years - and through all of these years it remained completely silent.

"It took the media to expose the full extent of the problem in athletics before WADA finally roused itself to take any action whatsoever.

"Contrast that attitude to the way that WADA behaved towards cycling, where WADA subjected the UCI and me to a 12-year long hate campaign, in particular from people like Pound and David Howman - latterly joined by USADA with Travis Tygart and Bill Bock.

"Wild and totally false accusations were bandied about in public, including those of complicity in doping and corruption.

"These accusations were recklessly tossed into the public forum without giving me any opportunity to provide my thoughts, views or responses."

The Dutchman has also named WADA director general David Howman
The Dutchman has also named WADA director general David Howman ©Getty Images

Verbruggen has had the CIRC report analysed by lawyers and has detailed their findings line by line on his website.

"Unfortunately the CIRC report is just an extremely biased anti-Verbruggen’ report," he said.

"It is littered with basic errors, falsehoods, biased inaccuracies, omissions of material facts, twisted quotes, anonymous testimonies accepted without any examination, violations of the right to be heard and the systematic concealment of the role played by WADA as well as its many failings.

"Of these many failings that were ignored by the CIRC, perhaps WADA’s most despicable action was its attempt, together with USADA, to have the director of the anti-doping laboratory in Lausanne, Professor Martial Saugy, sign a false statement that Armstrong had tested positive in the 2001 Tour of Switzerland and that Verbruggen/UCI had attempted to hide this positive test under the table.

"This is a particularly serious fact that reveals a great deal about the mentality of WADA and some of its directors.

"For me, this comes very close to criminal behaviour."

A WADA statement said: "Sir Craig Reedie, the President of WADA, is astonished by the complaint made by Hein Verbruggen to the IOC Ethics Commission, and made public, in respect to WADA’s former President and current IOC Representative on WADA’s Foundation Board, Dick Pound.

"The allegations in the complaint have no merit, are outrageous in their content and obviously defamatory.  

"Reedie calls upon Mr. Verbruggen to publicly retract his complaint immediately.

"Reedie also suggests to the IOC Ethics Commission that it dismiss his complaint as being totally without merit forthwith; and, consider conducting its own investigation into the malicious conduct of Mr. Verbruggen in relation to a member of the IOC."