Irish journalist Paul Kimmage has lodged a criminal complaint against International Cycling Union president Pat McQuaid and honorary president Hein Verbruggen in a move which will subject the leadership of the world governing body to further scrutiny.
The UCI, McQuaid and Verbruggen last week announced they were suspending defamation proceedings against former Sunday Times journalist Kimmage pending the results of an independent report.
Now former rider Kimmage, who has been hugely critical of the UCI leadership's response to doping in cycling, has launched proceedings of his own as the impact of the Lance Armstrong affair shows no sign of abating.
"[This is for the] whistleblowers ... dismissed as "cowards" and "scumbags" by Verbruggen and McQuaid" - Paul Kimmage
Kimmage wrote on Twitter: "I have lodged a criminal complaint against Hein Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid.
"I have initiated these proceedings not for myself - this is not about Paul Kimmage, but on behalf of the whistle blowers - Stephen Swart, Frankie Andreu, Floyd Landis, Christophe Bassons, Nicolas Aubier, Gilles Delion, Graeme Obree and every other cyclist who stood up for truth and the sport they loved and were dismissed as "cowards" and "scumbags" by Verbruggen and McQuaid."
A statement released by Kimmage's lawyers, Bonnard Lawson, said the complaint had been lodged with the public prosecutor in the Swiss town of Vevey.
The statement added: "Paul Kimmage complains, among other things, that he was dragged through the mud, that he was called a liar in public and accused in public of committing offences against the honour after he had obtained the publication of an interview by Floyd Landis in which the latter denounced the conduct of the highest officials of the International Cycling Union (UCI)."
My lawyer, Cedric Aguet, works for Bonnard Lawson in Geneva. I call him Maximus. He has just unleashed hell.— Paul Kimmage (@PaulKimmage) November 1, 2012
Armstrong was formally stripped of his seven Tour de France titles last month by the UCI which ratified the USADA decision to ban the American from cycling for life for doping offences.
Last month's USADA report concluded that Armstrong and his US Postal Service team ran "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen".