Hein Verbruggen

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Hein Verbruggen (born 21 June 1941 in Helmond) is a Dutch honorary member of the International Olympic Committee since 2008. Previously, he was a member of the IOC and Chairman of the Coordination Commission for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad in Beijing in 2008. He was president of the Union Cycliste Internationale from 1991 till 2005.


Verbruggen studied at the Nyenrode Business Universiteit. Afterwards, he became a sales manager.[1] In 1970, when he was a sales manager at Mars, Incorporated, he convinced them to sponsor a cycling team, to get access to the Belgian market.[2] In 1975, he became a member of the professional cycling committee of the Royal Dutch Cycling Union (KNWU).[2]

In 1979, Verbruggen became a member of the board of the Fédération Internationale de Cyclisme Professionnel (FICP). He became vice-president in 1982, and president in 1984.[1]

From 1991 to 2005, Verbruggen was president of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). From 1996 on, he was also member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).[3] During that time, Verbruggen combined the FICP (for professional cyclists) and the FIAC (for amateur cyclists) in the UCI. Because the Olympic organisation had the FIAC as partners, it had been impossible before then for professional cyclists to enter the Olympic Games, but from the 1996 Summer Olympics, professional athletes could compete.[4] In his last year, he installed the UCI ProTour.[5]

In 2005, Verbruggen became Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau.[6] Later that year, Verbruggen resigned as president of the UCI, and became vice-president. He then stopped being a member of the IOC, but was reinstated during the 2006 Winter Olympics.[3]

After the 2008 Summer Olympics, Verbruggen resigned as member of the IOC. The IOC then made him an honorary member, as did the Dutch Olympic Committee.[3]

As of 2012, Verbruggen remained an "honorary president" of UCI and was still on its management committee.[7]


In July 2008, a BBC investigation found documents indicating that over three million dollars were paid by Japanese race organizers as reimbursements for UCI expenses during Verbruggen's tenure as president, including five flights to the Netherlands for Verbruggen personally in 1999.[8] The investigation cited sources within the UCI who confirmed that the repayments were "explicitly a payback for getting keirin into the Games". Verbruggen denied any wrongdoing, and the UCI ignored BBC requests for clarification.

In May 2010, Floyd Landis accused Verbruggen of accepting a $100,000 bribe from Lance Armstrong to cover-up a positive dope control in 2001.[9] Verbruggen denied the allegation, but confirmed that Armstrong representatives had approached the UCI with the intention of donating money.[10] Verbruggen indicated that Armstrong's money would not have gone toward testing, but may have been used to purchase a Sysmex machine to analyze blood samples. Pat McQuaid, Verbruggen's successor as UCI president, later confirmed that Armstrong made two donations during Verburggen's tenure: a personal check for $25,000 in 2002, which went toward doping controls for junior racers, and a $100,000 donation from Armstrong's management company in 2005, which went toward the Sysmex machine.[11] Given UCI's endorsement of USADA's decision: that the donation was made by the leader of one of the most sophisticated, systematic and successful doping programs in sporting history, ironically, for the express purpose of improving doping controls, Verbruggen's acceptance of the donation has not been without controversy.[12] McQuaid also conceded that the UCI's acceptance of Armstrong's money may have been a mistake.

In July 2010, an email correspondence between Landis and Verbruggen was leaked to The New York Daily News, in which Verbruggen attacked Landis in the wake of accusations Landis made about the UCI and Lance Armstrong.[13] The e-mails were later reproduced at Cyclingnews.com.[14]

USADA's "Reasoned Decision" on Lance Armstrong quotes Verbruggen as saying in May 2011: "There is nothing. I repeat again: Lance Armstrong has never used doping. Never, never, never. I say this not because I am a friend of his, because that is not true. I say it because I'm sure."[15]

In March 2013, it was revealed that Hein Verbruggen while in charge of Summer 2008 Olympics bids at sometime in the early 2000s demanded France relax strict anti-doping laws in order for Paris' Summer Olympics bid to move forward. The sports minister at the time, Marie-George Buffet, was later instructed by the prime minister after meetings with other IOC representatives to deliver a letter agreeing to relax doping rules to Mr. Verbruggen at the top of the Eiffel Tower.[16]English summary: [17]

In July 2013, it was revealed that from 2001 to 2004, Verbruggen had some of his money managed by the owner of USA Cycling and part owner of the United States Postal Service professional cycling team, Thom Weisel. The broker was Jim Ochowicz, former President of the USA Cycling Board of Directors and team manager of the BMC professional bicycle racing team. [18]

Defamation suits[edit]

Verbruggen (sometimes along with Pat McQuaid) has been involved in several defamation suits against people who accused UCI of corruption in regards to doping.

In 2002 UCI sued Festina soigneur Willy Voet for defamation over claims in his book Breaking the Chain.[19] In 2004 the UCI won the case,[20] and in 2006 won the appeal.[20] Voet had made various claims about UCI and Verbruggen's alleged behavior related to an alleged issue with Lidocaine and Laurent Brochard at the 1997 UCI Road World Championships.[21]

Another defamation suit was brought against Floyd Landis in 2011 for some of the aforementioned claims about Lance Armstrong and the UCI. The case against Landis was ruled in UCI's favor.[22]

Another defamation lawsuit was against WADA Chief Dick Pound regarding his comments about doping and UCI.[23] The lawsuit was settled by the parties in 2009.[24]

Another was filed against former cyclist and journalist Paul Kimmage in 2012, again related to the accusations about Armstrong and UCI.[25] The lawsuit was later dropped, but Kimmage had received money from the public to prepare a defense, so he decided to sue the UCI himself in a criminal court. He stated that he was doing it for the whistleblowers who were defamed by the UCI.[26]


  1. ^ a b "Mr Hein Verbruggen". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 13 February 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Maarten van Helvoirt (4 August 2008). "Aimabel vindt de één, rücksichtslos vindt de ander". Brabants Dagblad (in Dutch). Retrieved 13 February 2010. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b c "Hein Verbruggen (1941)" (in Dutch). NOC NCF. Retrieved 13 February 2010. 
  4. ^ Wybren de Boer (19 July 1996). "Kersvers IOC-lid Verbruggen heeft al een mening 'Organisatie Spelen hoort bij regering'". Volkskrant (in Dutch). Retrieved 13 February 2010. 
  5. ^ McGann, Bill; McGann, Carol (2008). The Story of the Tour De France: 1965-2007. Dog Ear Publishing. p. 305. ISBN 1-59858-608-4. 
  6. ^ "Onderscheiding voor UCI Voorzitter Hein Verbruggen" (in Dutch). KNWU. 10 June 2006. Retrieved 13 February 2010. 
  7. ^ UCI honorary president Hein Verbruggen rejects 'misleading' article that he defended Lance Armstrong, By Telegraph Sport, 18 Oct 2012, UK Telegraph, retr 2012 10 23
  8. ^ McGrath, Matt (27 July 2008). "Cycling cash linked to Olympics". BBC News. 
  9. ^ "Floyd Landis Admits Doping, Accuses Armstrong". CBS News. 20 May 2010. 
  10. ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/cycling/news/story?id=5263785
  11. ^ http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/mcquaid-reveals-armstrong-made-two-donations-to-the-uci
  12. ^ Daily News (New York) http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/iteam/2012/10/greg-lemond-writes-open-letter-asking-uci-boss-to-resign-says-corruption-not-drugs-the.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ Vinton, Nathaniel (10 July 2010). "In e-mail messages, News finds disgraced Floyd Landis rides alone after doping accusations". Daily News (New York). 
  14. ^ http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/verbruggen-labels-landis-a-nuisance
  15. ^ "Lance Armstrong: UCI chief's remarks stun doping expert". BBC Sport Cycling (UK). 15 October 2012. 
  16. ^ http://sport24.lefigaro.fr/football/actualites/buffet-a-subi-des-pressions-623251
  17. ^ http://velonews.competitor.com/2013/03/news/must-read-french-minister-testifies-that-verbruggen-pressured-her-about-easing-up-on-doping_278600
  18. ^ http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887323783704578246001221628488?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424127887323783704578246001221628488.html
  19. ^ News for March 10, 2002, cyclingnews.com, Edited by Jeff Jones, section "UCI wants damages from Voet". retr 2012 10 22
  20. ^ a b UCI wins legal battle against Voet Anthony Tan, cyclingnews.com, May 20, 2006, Updated: April 20, 2009, retr 2012 10 22
  21. ^ The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France. By Daniel Coyle, Tyler Hamilton, Random House Digital, Inc., Sep 5, 2012, page 94, footnote
  22. ^ Swiss court finds in UCI's favour in Landis defamation case, Cycling News, October 4, 2012, retr 2012 10 13
  23. ^ [1], BBC Sport - Cycling, September 23, 2006, retr 2012 10 13
  24. ^ [2], Velonews, December 17, 2009, retr 2012 10 13
  25. ^ Kimmage: Tear down the UCI and start over, Gregor Brown, Sep. 28, 2012, retr 2012 10 22 from velonews.competitor.com
  26. ^ Sarah Barth (1 November 2012). "Paul Kimmage lodges criminal complaint against UCI after Armstrong defamation case against him is suspended". RoadCC (Farrelly Atkinson Ltd). Retrieved 12 November 2012. 

See also[edit]