Merckx Facing Charges in Belgian Police Graft Case [Bicycling]

BRUSSELS, March 27, 2012 (AFP) — Cycling legend Eddy Merckx is facing charges in a corruption case concerning the sale of bikes to police in Belgium, judicial sources confirmed to AFP on Tuesday after a report in La Derniere Heure newspaper.
The daily said the five-time winner of the Tour de France was alleged to have been told by the police in Anderlecht about a plan to provide 48 bikes to them in 2006 and 2007.
At the time Merckx headed a cycle manufacturing business in his own name and according to the newspaper was allegedly told of the price proposed by his competitors, allowing him to adapt his offer to win the contract.
The police chief later received a top-of-the-range bike at a “favorable price,” it was claimed.
The daily said that Merckx was set to have been charged on December 6 last year but the date was pushed back as he was due to receive France’s highest civilian award, the Legion of Honor, on December 15 at the Elysee Palace in Paris.