Belgian cycling legend Eddy Merckx will not faces charges over allegations he was involved in bribing police.
The accusations related to the purchasing of 46 bikes for the cycling unit of the Brussels-Midi police force, with Merckx allegedly using false documents and rewarding a police officer.
The 73-year-old was one of 13 people accused in the case but he will not face legal action, according to the The Brussels Times. (opens in new tab)
Merckx will not be charged because the time limit on prosecution has now passed.
Spokesperson for the Brussels prosecutor’s office, Ine Van Wymersch, said: “[The delay] is due to various factors.
“We regret this, because it sends out a wrong signal.
“This was a very extensive dossier, and we are only able to work with the resources we are given.”
Merckx faced being charged over alleged irregular procedures in 2006 and 2007 in relation to his previous duties at Cycles EddyMerckx.
The allegations were that a police officer gave Merckx inside information around rival bidders to help him win the €15,000 (£13,000) contract.
Merckx was suspected of rewarding the police officer with a cut price deal on a high-end carbon bike and giving a bike to the officer’s wife.
The officer denied the allegations and Merckx previously said he had “nothing to say” and “we’ll see what happens.”
A judicial enquiry was started in 2007 and was completed in 2016.
Information was passed to the public prosecutor in Brussels, but a court ruled this week that the time limit for prosecution has now passed.
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.
None of the people accused will be prosecuted, including the officer in question or other officers involved.
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