Floyd Landis Found Guilty of Defaming UCI Presidents
Disgraced Tour de France winner Floyd Landis must pay current and former UCI presidents Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen 10,000 Swiss francs ($10,700) each after being found guilty of defamation by a Swiss court.
The Eastern Vaud District Court ruled that American Landis, stripped of his 2006 Tour title for failing a dope test, was forbidden to "state that the UCI, Pat McQuaid or Hein Verbruggen have concealed cases of doping, received money for doing so (or) have accepted money from Lance Armstrong to conceal a doping case".
It also said Landis was forbidden to state that the International Cycling Union (UCI) "are clowns (...), are no different to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, or to make any similar allegations".
A call to the UCI confirmed the document was genuine.
In 2010, Landis admitted to doping and alleged that Verbruggen and McQuaid had accepted a donation from Armstrong to conceal a positive test in the 2001 Tour de Suisse.
Although the UCI admitted receiving $100,000 from Landis's former team mate Armstrong to help finance anti-doping measures, the sport's governing body denied it was part of a cover-up.
According to the Eastern Vaud District, Landis must also publish the ruling in several media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal and L'Equipe, at his own expense.
Landis' lawyer, Leo Cunningham, explained Landis was never formally contacted or informed he was a defendant, and called the order "unenforceable."
"Floyd was never served with the UCI's Swiss lawsuit, never appeared in Switzerland on the case, and therefore the Swiss Court had no opportunity to hear Floyd on the issues," Cunningham stated.
"The order is un-American in every sense of that word. It is inconsistent with American law, it flies in the face of our First Amendment, and it would be unenforceable in American courts. It does not affect Floyd's status under American law in any way."
Former Sunday Times sports journalist Paul Kimmage, an ex-professional cyclist, is also being sued by the UCI for repeated critique of the sport's governing body.