Swiss court finds in favour of UCI in Landis defamation case
Ex-racer must pay McQuaid and Verbruggen CHF 10,000 each and not call the UCI "clowns" or "fools" again
The District Court of Eastern Vaud in Vevey has ruled in favour of the UCI, Hein Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid in their defamation case against Floyd Landis. The suit stems in part from Landis' allegation that the UCI covered up a positive test for Lance Armstrong in the 2001 Tour de Suisse, a claim which has also been made by reporter and ex-pro Paul Kimmage who is facing a similar charge.
Whereas Landis wasn't present for the case or the ruling and thus was found guilty by default, Kimmage will certainly contest the charge; a fighting fund started by Ciclismas and NY Velocity has raised over $50,000 to allow Kimmage to engage a team to defend him in court. His case is due to be heard in December, by which time full details of USADA's decision to strip Lance Armstrong of his seven tour de france titles may well be in the public domain.
The ruling by the court in Vevey orders Landis to publish the verdict at his own expense in the Wall St Journal, L'Equipe, Le Temps, NYVelocity.com, cyclingnews.com, Velonation.com, Velonews.com and De Volksrant. It also goes into great detail to spell out exactly what Landis must not say in future; the ruling "forbids Floyd Landis to state that the Union Cycliste Internationale, Patrick (Pat) McQuaid and/or Henricus (Hein) Verbruggen have concealed cases of doping, received money for doing so, have accepted money from Lance Armstrong to conceal a doping case, have protected certain racing cyclists, concealed cases of doping, have engaged in manipulation, particularly of tests and races, have hesitated and delayed publishing the results of a positive test on Alberto Contador, have accepted bribes, are corrupt, are terrorists, have no regard for the rules, load the dice, are fools, do not have a genuine desire to restore discipline to cycling, are full of shit, are clowns, their words are worthless, are liars, are no different to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, or to make any similar other allegations of that kind." So that's pretty clear then.
The ruling goes on to lay out the details of the fine, and his costs of the case (CHF 2,100), and also notes that Landis owes the UCI, Verbruggen and McQuaid the sum of CHF 4,600 to cover their costs.
"The UCI has been notified of the judgement, returned by the Est Vaudois District Court, in its defamation case against Mr Floyd Landis," reads the UCI's official statement. "The judgement upholds and protects the integrity of the UCI and its Presidents. False accusations are unacceptable and unlawful and the UCI will continue to defend itself against all such accusations."