Verbruggen and Pound Close War Of Words

GENEVA, Dec 17, 2009 (AFP) – The International Cycling Union (UCI) and former World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president Dick Pound said Thursday that they had settled a lawsuit over allegedly injurious comments by Pound.

The ICU, its former president Hein Verbruggen and Pound released a joint statement closing the litigation in a Swiss court over comments by the outspoken Canadian founding head of WADA.

Verbruggen and Pound often clashed when they were both in office and Pound was vocal in questioning the UCI’s efforts in tackling doping at the height of some of biggest scandals to hit cycling.

“Richard Pound acknowledges the fact that some of his comments reported in the media might have seemed excessive if they were interpreted to mean that the UCI and Hein Verbruggen were doing nothing to combat doping,” the statement said.

“This applies to an even greater extent to the allegation of collusion which was never formulated as such,” it added.

Pound also recognised that the UCI had put in place new testing procedures.

“Richard Pound acknowledges the fact that the UCI is doing good work to eliminate cheats from their sport.”

Meanwhile, the cycling body declared that it would carry on with the anti-doping measures.

“However, it remains the duty of the bodies responsible for combating doping, including the WADA, to note any inadequacy on the part of any agency whatsoever with a view to making this fight more effective,” the statement added.

Each side agreed to pay its own costs.

The UCI lawsuit launched in March 2008 accused Pound of “continual injurious and biased comments” and WADA had leapt to their former chief’s defense.

Pound stepped down from his WADA post in November 2007, while Verbruggen stood down from the UCI presidency in 2005 but stayed on as vice president until 2008.

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