Eddy Merckx could be sent to prison for two years if found guilty of corruption.

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By Thomas Parker

Eddy Merckx could face corruption charges after being accused of involvement in irregular purchases of equipment from his cycling company by Belgian police.

Belgian-based newspaper La Dernière Heure reports that the prosecutor believes the five-time Tour de France champion has to be tried for irregular procedures in 2006 and 2007 in relation to his previous duties within the Cycles EddyMerckx business.

The accusation relates to the purchasing of 46 bikes for the cycling squad of the Brussels-Midi police force, where Merckx is accused of using false documents.

It is also reported that Merckx is suspected of rewarding a police officer a cut price deal on a top of the range carbon-fibre bike and giving a bike to the police officer’s wife.

>>> Eddy Merckx: the man behind the legend

The police officer allegedly gave Merckx inside information around the rival bidders of the negotiations, in order to win the 46-bike contract, thought to be worth around €15,000.

The officer in question has strongly denied these allegations. Merckx told La Dernière Heure that he had “nothing to say”, continuing with “we’ll see what happens.”

The judicial inquiry, that began in 2007, was only recently completed and has now been transferred over to the public prosecutor based in Brussels, but has not yet produced a final charge involving the case.

>>> Celebrate Eddy Merckx’s 70th birthday with a limited edition £11,500 bike (video)

If charged, Merckx could be faced with up to between two and ten years in prison for the bribing an official.

Eddy Merckx founded Cycles EddyMerckx two years after his retirement from his highly successful 18 year career. He stepped down for his role as chief executive of the company in 2008.

  • Timpacker

    Eddy Merckx the biggest fraud in cycling .. Mr perfect winner of 5 doped up tours but let’s hail him a hero..

  • Timpacker

    Apart from you replying. The great eddy Merckx.. Mr perfect . Heaven forbid if anyone accuses him of any wrongdoing..

  • llos25

    At least unlike you he could spell.

  • Bob

    As you don’t have the brains to even spell 4 letter words correctly, no-ones going to take the slightest bit of notice in your trolling opinion

  • Robin Mainwaring

    Yes, I don’t get this at all. The police have arrested a fair few people but how can a small deal worth so little (what, 3-4000 Euros in profit) end up with Merckx allegedly giving away 2 top end bikes and up to 12 other people involved?

  • Timpacker

    And we all thought Armstrong was a lier

  • llos25

    Go away.

  • ummm…

    life. on one hand we are appalled at some palm greasing which amounted to 15K, and on the other hand…..well the rest of the cycling sideshow.

  • Timpacker

    Doper cheater lier!!!!

  • wickedscholar

    I don’t get it. 15,000 Euros is only worth about $16,780. That works out to $365 a bike. It’s not like Merckx made a ton of money off of this contract – certainly not enough to risk going to jail. There has to be a lot more to this story than what’s being reported in this article.

  • Michael

    He didn’t do anything!

    (I’ll have a blue bike in large, Eddy)

  • William

    I am disappointed to hear about this. I hope it is not true and that Eddy Merckx is not found guilty. However, this is reminder that our heroes are exceptional human beings, but their excellence is not all encompassing. We should remember that he is a hero because he had shown excellence in athletic performance, and all the attributes that are required to achieve that.