It’s pretty safe to assume that Brian Cookson and Hein Verbruggen are not on each other’s Christmas card list this year, with the current and former UCI presidents disagreeing once more – this time on a supposed agreement between the pair.
In March, Cookson asked Verbruggen to step down from his position of honorary president at the UCI in light of the Cycling Independent Reform Commission’s (CIRC) report, which didn’t paint the Dutchman and his successor Pat McQuaid in a particularly good light.
Verbruggen, unsurprisingly, refused Cookson’s suggestions, claiming that he was ‘proud’ of his legacy and instead set about planning to sue the UCI over the CIRC report.
Come December, though, Verbruggen was claiming that he and Cookson had come to an agreement, telling insidethegames.biz that “Mr. Cookson renounces definitively from asking me to resign from my Honorary-Presidency and agrees not to mention this question anymore publicly or privately.”
Cookson responded to Verbruggen’s claims, which also included the fact that the UCI would pay £29,000 towards his legal costs, with a short, but comprehensive statement on Twitter.
“I was elected to change the way the UCI conducts itself and therefore, following a request from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), I indeed met with Mr Hein Verbruggen last summer,” the statement read.
“We came to a confidential agreement which was to ensure, amongst other things, that he would stop using his influence to criticise and cause trouble for the UCI.
“Since Mr Verbruggen never respected his commitments, the agreement is considered null.
“No money has ever been paid to Mr Verbruggen since I became President.”
Something tells me this won’t be the last we hear from this feud.