By Tom Degun

Paul Kimmage_30-01-12January 30 - The International Cycling Union (UCI) President Pat McQuaid and Honorary President Hein Verbruggen are making claims against Irish journalist and former cyclist Paul Kimmage (pictured) after claiming that he has "seriously damaged" the reputation of the organisation.

According to reports in the Irish Independent, McQuaid and Verbruggen are each seeking damages of €6,600 (£5,532/$8,668) and have told the Swiss District Court that they feel "their reputation has been seriously damaged" by Kimmage, mainly in articles published in British newspaper The Sunday Times and French newspaper L'Équipe.

McQuaid (pictured below left) and Verbruggen (pictured), current and former International Olympic Committee (IOC) members respectively, have opted to take action against Kimmage personally and not the two newspapers.

Pat McQuaid_with_Hein_Verbruggen
In the statement of claim, they say that the award-winning sports journalist had been dishonest in accusing them of "having knowingly tolerated tests, of being dishonest people, of not having a sense of responsibility, of not applying the same rules to everyone".

But Kimmage has reacted strongly to the claims and the 49-year-old from Dublin insists he will not apologise to his countryman McQuaid or Verbruggen of the Netherlands, who served as UCI President before being succeeded by McQuaid in 2005.

"My reaction to this can be summed up very simply," Kimmage told VeloNation.

"Unlike Mr Verbruggen and Mr McQuaid, I do not accept donations from Lance Armstrong (the seven-time Tour de France winner) so I am not really in a position to defend this.

"Hell will freeze over before I issue either of those gentlemen an apology for anything."

Floyd Landis_30-01-12
Kimmage says the case appears to relate to an interview he gave L'Équipe during the summer, plus the French translation of the interview transcript with disgraced professional cyclist Floyd Landis (pictured) that the website carried in January 2011.

"They also mention The Sunday Times, but I don't see how this actually covers anything from The Times piece," he said.

Kimmage has campaigned heavily against cheating and drug use in cycling for three decades, both as a competitor and then as a journalist, while he has also asked hard questions of the sport's administrators.

He has a history of confrontations with Armstrong after accusing the 40-year-old Texan of doping, while his interview with convicted drug cheat Landis in January 2011 is considered to have broken new ground in the campaign against drugs.

Landis is also being sued separately by the same claimants.

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