BOULDER, Colorado (VN) — The money raised to pay for a journalist’s defense against a looming lawsuit from the Union Cycliste International remains untouched as Paul Kimmage turned the tables on the UCI and filed a lawsuit of his own on Thursday.
More than $85,000 has been donated to the fund, which was created to protect the journalist financially from a defamation suit cycling’s governing body holds over his head.
Kimmage has accused UCI brass of covering up a positive performance-enhancing drug test from the 2001 Tour de Suisse, a charge to which the UCI’s Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen have taken exception.
The UCI suspended its lawsuit in the wake of the Lance Armstrong revelations, which has called into question what will happen to the money donated to defend Kimmage.
According to a spokesperson from Cyclismas.com, the website responsible in part for creating the fund, the money will be used for Kimmage’s defense. Should the journalist look to tap the funds for his strike at the UCI, donors will be contacted.
It has yet to be touched, and the UCI’s decision to freeze its legal action isn’t viewed as final.
Kimmage’s lawsuit involves a criminal complaint against Verbruggen and McQuaid “for slander/defamation, denigration and for strong suspicions of fraud,” according to a November 1 release from his attorney, Cédric Aguet.
The complaint was sent to the public prosecutor of Vevey, Switzerland, and was distributed among the cycling media.
As of Monday afternoon, more than 2,891 people had donated to the fund, with a sharp uptick coming once cycling fans got wind of Kimmage’s offensive move. Donations had tapered off once the UCI tabled its lawsuit against Kimmage, according to Cyclismas.com.