Five-time Tour de France winner Eddy Merckx was accused of corruption and forgery over a police contract for bicycles, the Brussels prosecutor’s office said.
The case will be transferred to a criminal court and a decision on whether to proceed will be taken in September, Ine Van Wijmersch, spokeswoman for the Brussels prosecutor, told reporters on Wednesday in the Belgian capital.
Merckx is accused of obtaining a contract after the former Brussels-Midi police chief, Gerald Noo, and commissioner Philippe Boucar, informed him about rival bids for a tender involving supply of 48 bikes for the Brussels police between 2006 and 2007, Belga news agency reported.
Merckx and Boucar also allegedly forged the date on Merckx’s bid and Merckx would have rewarded Boucar and his wife with two top-end bicycles made by his company, Eddy Merckx Cycles NV, Belga said. Commissioner Boucar was indicted for corruption and fraud in 2012, according to the newswire.
Eddy Merckx Cycles, based in Zellik, Belgium, posted a cumulative loss of 11.5 million euros ($12.8 million) for the past four years. Sales climbed 71 percent to 8.57 million euros in the fiscal year that ended in August 2015, according to the latest annual accounts filed to the National Bank of Belgium.