D-FENCE: Paul Kimmage Defence Fund


Please note, the comments and thoughts expressed here are my own and in no way represent those of LovingTheBike.com, it’s affiliates or sponsors – Stevie

If you keep your ear to the Twitter flavoured ground you will no doubt have heard about the Paul Kimmage Defence Fund;  which has been started and is being championed across the internet. This is not an article about the rights and wrongs of doping, or an attempt to decipher the thousands of pages of writing dedicated to the doping (or potential doping) of athletes. Whatever your thoughts on some of the particular athletes involved in this ‘scandal’ are, I would hope everyone would agree that a fair enquiry should be held and for that, equal resources are necessary.

Essentially, award-winning author and journalist Paul Kimmage is being sued by Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen after his 1990 book, “Rough Ride” detailed a systematic doping culture within the professional peloton as well as Kimmage’s own comments to L’Equipe regarding the positive test of Floyd Landis and the UCI’s alleged cover up of a positive test for Lance Armstrong during the Tour de Suisse in 2001.

The ‘Paul Kimmage Defence Fund’ was started by bloggers Andy Shen of NYVelocity.com and Lesli Cohen of Cyclismas.com and as of Monday the 1st of October had collected over $47,000 from 1477 contributors. There has also been a significant number of journalists who have put their name to a petition in support of Kimmage which was signed at the UCI Road World Championships in Valkenburg last week.

There is a plethora of information and stories about there about this subject and although I have read a great deal of them, I do not profess to be an expert on the matter.  If you head to the nyvelocity.com page dedicated to the fund you will find a huge list of articles on the subject.

I believe there is no smoke without fire, and this is no longer one man’s fight against the UCI. I don’t have all the hidden information and am not pointing the finger at any riders in particular, this is about Paul Kimmage and trying to assure the man has an adequate defence against the McQuaid, Verbruggen and the UCI.  If you wish to, you can make a donation to the defence fund via the nyvelocity.com page.



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13 Responses to “ D-FENCE: Paul Kimmage Defence Fund ”

  1. Guest on October 8, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    not sure i see your point. It was posted on Boards ie by Ann.

  2. Ann Higginson on October 7, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Has anybody who has followed this story stopped and reflected for a minute that Paul Kimmage might have an agenda and maybe even a ‘personal’ vendetta against Pat McQuaid? I declare here and now that I have a personal relationship with Pat McQuaid – he is my eldest brother. When we were growing up at home six of my seven brothers were racing cyclists (after their father before them) – cycling is in the blood (not epo!). My brothers, including Pat, were pretty handy on the bike and represented Ireland on many occasions at international level. Discussions during mealtimes were always dominated by cycle racing, invariably about the battles fought out on the road between the Kimmages (including Paul) and the McQuaid boys in that week’s races or the strategies to be employed in upcoming races to beat them. Indeed I gather Paul’s father Christie and our father Jim were rivals on the bike before them back in the 50s.

    Pat McQuaid and Paul Kimmage both went on to join Professional teams and both were undoubtedly faced with the temptation/pressure to take drugs to enhance their performance. Paul Kimmage raced away for a number of years, as he admitted himself in his infamous book, taking drugs to improve his performance and just stay in the game as a domestique while Pat McQuaid it would seem took the decision after not more than a year as a pro that without taking drugs he would not have what it took to get to the top in bike racing so he retired from racing and pursued another career as a race promoter and then with the Irish Cycling Federation and UCI.

    Only when Paul Kimmage retired from racing, and no longer had a vested financial interest in keeping quiet about it, did he write his book about the sport being rife with drugs!! Where is the integrity in that? Since he bore his soul, he has seemed intent on pinning the responsibility for his poor moral choice on the shoulders of others, be they Pat McQuaid, Hein Verbruggen, the UCI in general or Lance Armstrong to name but a few of his targets. Is Paul Kimmage resentful that Pat McQuaid didn’t have the weakness of character Paul demonstrated by taking drugs and turning a blind eye to the immorality of what he was making a living at.

    I am not for a minute saying that cycling does not have to seriously clean its act up – it does. The UCI has a major part to play in that. But I believe that in comparison to other sports the UCI has been aggressive in its fight against doping since Pat took office. It is not an easy task because they are constrained by the Laws of the land.

    I was personally affected by the dishonesty of the peloton when in 1998 I was a publisher of a number of cycling magazines, including the Official Guide of the Tour de France. We had invested heavily in the Guide that year, producing English, French, German and even an Irish language edition to celebrate the Tour’s Grand Départ in Ireland. When the Festina affair hit the fan it had a huge impact on our sales and we lost a lot of money that year which eventually put us out of business. So I could easily feel that the greed and dishonesty of the riders played no small part in costing me my livelihood. But ultimately I take responsibility for the decisions I took.

    Paul Kimmage, through the notoriety he gained from the controversy surrounding his book has gone on to write about other sports including football and golf. I don’t see him delving into the rights, wrongs and corruption in those sports and there are many issues. Of course not, he is not going to bite off the hand that feeds him….yet again. It’s easy for him to pull cycling’s house down – he doesn’t stand to lose out financially from that any more. Sadly, it seems as if he feels it may purge him of his own feelings of guilt. I fear it won’t.

    A lot is said about the fact that Paul Kimmage in currently unemployed. It may just be that he is not a very good writer and publishers may consider him to be more of a liability. He seems to have a strong sense of ‘entitlement’ both as a former professional bike rider and now as a would be journalist.

    Paul Kimmage has some support of late among journalists, many of them my friends and former colleagues, because the truth is many of them are running for cover. They have written for years about the ‘heroic, superhuman’ exploits of top cyclists, knowing full well that many of them were using performance enhancing drugs. The journalists were not willing to confront the cyclists with their suspicions because it would probably have meant they would no longer have access to them for interviews etc. Now that the genie is out of the bottle they too are trying to position themselves on the moral high ground. I for one am not convinced!!

    All I’m asking for here is a bit of balance in the discussion. Paul Kimmage is being painted as a saint and Pat McQuaid as a villain. Neither portrayal is true. Paul Kimmage is a former doper. He lied to the fans and no doubt to his family and friends for years while he raced. He says he didn’t take any of the hard stuff because he couldn’t afford it… Perhaps that’s like Lance Armstrong saying he didn’t dope. We only have their word for it.

    • Stevie Dexter on October 8, 2012 at 3:43 pm

      Ann, firstly let me say thank you for reading and commenting on this article in such a detailed manner. You clearly have first hand experience of this subject and it’s refreshing to hear a considered view on the wider issue of doping as well as the relationship between Paul Kimmage and Pat McQuaid.

      I agree that the UCI has been aggressive in the fight against doping in the years since the ‘Festina Affair’ and Operation Puerto and from what I know there is no other sport or professional body that tests and exposes their athlethes like the world of cycling. I often use that argument when friends comment on how dirty our sport is. It’s the extra effort we put in to exposing the cheats that in turn makes the sport look worse. But that fight must continue.

      In relation to the history between Mr Kimmage and your brother, I can’t comment on that and did not know that they had moved in such close circles in their racing careers. You are right, it is entirely possible that Kimmage does have a personal vendetta, but that is the first time I have heard such a hypothesis and so had not fully considered it. Such a long, protracted and public method of bringing that vendetta to fruition seems as if it would be difficult to sustain and I wonder why the UCI or Pat McQuaid have never raised this. For me, support of the Paul Kimmage Defence Fund is not because I believe he has all the answer, or that the UCI, Messers McQuaid and Verbruggen are the ‘bad guys’ – I believe a fair enquiry should be heard.

      People love a fighter. They love the underdog. And they love to fight the system. It’s not surprising that many fans of the sport who have such a dislike for the doping side of our sport blame the system and in turn the governing body.

      Thank you for the time you took to reply. If you want to get in touch, I’d love to publish your views on the subject in greater detail.


    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on October 8, 2012 at 4:14 pm

      Thanks so much for your comments on this, Ann. It’s really great to get the perspective on things from your viewpoint and you have done so in a very professional and well written manner.
      Stevie will be contacting you directly, but we’d really like to have you provide more on this in a future article here on Loving the Bike. Thanks again.


    • Vitaly Gashpar on October 8, 2012 at 4:22 pm

      Speaking of personal vendettas. Care to ask your big brother when he plans on filing a lawsuit agaist Tyler Hamilton, Daniel Coyle, L’Equipe or The Sunday Times? They all published the same, or nearly the same information as fact about the UCI, but only Landis and Kimmage are getting sued. I find that a bit interesting, given the fact that Verbruggen went on record with Cyclingnews saying that anyone who says anything negative about the UCI will get sued. Sorry, Ann, I’m sure you feel for your brother, but it seems like he’s the one with something to hide and a personal vendetta against Kimmage. The UCI’s absolute lack of transparency also leaves a lot of questions unaswered, a fact that doesn’t bode too well for your brother. If I were you, I’d urge him to retire and have someone who actually cares about cleaning up this sport take his role.

    • Dave (Dim) on October 8, 2012 at 4:29 pm

      Paul Kimmage has a vendeta? Hang on.. Who is taking whom to court here? Kimmage isnt suing the UCI, Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen are suing Kimmage (seemingly using UCI headed notepaper).

      This has got very little to do with doping, it has very little to do with wether Kimmage doped, the UCI covered up doping, its all about the UCI – or Pat & Hein because the rest of the UCI must be wondering what an earth they have got themselves into – picking the targets they thought were easy for some PR.

      First Floyd, a guy they has very little money and certainly not the means to defend himself, they win the case (although floyd was unable to contest it because they couldnt find him to serve the paperwork) and they get to make a big song and dance about how how Floyd isnt allowed to say bad things about them.

      Then next up Paul. A guy that lost his job nearly a year ago, and so to their mind, like Floyd, wouldnt have the means to defend himself. Another unopposed case in the Swiss Courts, another “Win” for the UCI, and they get to crow about how now Paul isnt allowed to say bad things about them anymore..

      Well they stuffed that one up didnt they, they didnt reckon on the level of fan support not just for Paul, but the level of fan anger against the UCI. You might say, its only 1500 out of millions of cycling fans, true, but 1500, that in the height of a global recession, feel strongly enough to dip in their pockets.

      Maybe im wrong, maybe the UCI arent just picking on those who cant defend themselves (or they think dont have the means to), then why arent they suing Tyler Hamilton or Dan Coyle, theyve put in writing that test were covered up, and in countless interviews since.. maybe its because those two do have the means to defend themselves. Why arent they suing David Walsh? Hes said just as bad as kimmage in several articles and interviews, oh yes, because Kimmage is the golden boy at the Sunday Times and the UCI would have the full weight of the best lawyers Murdoch could throw at them. Why dont they sue Greg Lemond.. oh yes, hes the American Hero, that would be a pretty bad PR move.

      This isnt about doping, or Kimmage, or McQuaid or any petty arguments they had 30 years ago during races, this is about a last desperate stand by Hein and Pat to prove they were right, the journalists were wrong, and they can use the same bully boy tactics theyve used for the last 15 years to scare people into silence..

      Guess what.. We aint scared anymore.

    • Geraldine mcquaile on October 8, 2012 at 5:15 pm

      Dear Ann,
      There is no hidden agenda or vendetta. Ask yourself this, why isn’t your brother, UCI president, Pat McQuaid, not suing the newspaper that published the piece written by Kimmage?

      Your brother is a vindictive bully and should be ashamed of the role he has played in covering up the doping scandals during his continuing reign as president of the UCI. I am ashamed that he is Irish. I am very proud of Paul kimmage and the written work that he has produced over the years. I also note that yourself and your brother are or were both employed by Pat McQuaid..isn’t this nepotism?

  3. John on October 2, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    I didn’t hear about the Paul Kimmage fund before now. I’m one of those people who is upset with all the doping and allegation in the sport of cycling. Unfortunately it’s a part of the sport.

  4. Ed on October 2, 2012 at 9:09 am

    The whole cycling and doping thing continues to blow up. How much farther do you think this will go and what outcomes will it have on pro cycling?

    • Stevie Dexter on October 2, 2012 at 11:26 am

      Ed, this won’t be the end of doping or positive results by any means. But it might help shine a light on the terrible practices that the organisations in authority have been using over the years to ‘hush up’ certain events. If you haven’t read Paul’s, “Rough Ride”, get yourself a copy. It’s a must read if you are interesting in the doping side of the sport.

      • Recycler on October 8, 2012 at 5:09 pm

        Or buy a copy of The Secret Race, and read, from first hand experiences, how doping went on during Verbruggen’s and McQuaid’s control of the UCI and hence, control of anti-doping. And in that, it is clear, they have been unsuccessful. And now, the pitiful legal cases against Landis and now Kimmage shows that they are more concerned about their image than cleaning up the sport.

        • Recycler on October 8, 2012 at 5:20 pm

          Oh, and that eloquent post from “Ann”? A straight copy and paste from the boards.ie forum
          (the original post seems to have been removed, but thankfully preserved in another user’s quote)

          • Dave (Dim) on October 8, 2012 at 5:51 pm

            not sure i see your point. It was posted on boards.ie by Ann as well.


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