A Swiss court has ruled in favour of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) in its defamation case against former professional rider Floyd Landis.

Current UCI president Pat McQuaid and former UCI president Hein Verbruggen had lodged a petition with the Swiss courts on April 29 2011 regarding several allegations made by Landis about the pair’s conduct, particularly regarding the concealment of positive doping tests.

Landis was ordered by the Eastern Vaud District Court on September 26 2012 to pay a compensation to McQuaid and Verbruggen of CHF 10,000, pay court costs and legal fees and to place an advert publicising the findings of the court in the publications through which Landis made his allegations. The media outlets involved are Wall Street Journal, L’Equipe, Le Temps, NYVelocity.com, Cyclingnews.com, Velonation.com, Velonews.com and De Volksrant. Landis was not present in court.

In a brief statement issued on Wednesday, the UCI underlined its intent to protect its name from allegations: “False accusations are unacceptable and unlawful and the UCI will continue to defend itself against all such accusations.”

According to the court’s decision, Landis is now prohibited from mentioning a string of accusations against the UCI, McQuaid and Verbruggen which the ruling outlined as:

“…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.” 

The Swiss court’s ruling has particular resonance given the forthcoming, similar case against Irish journalist Paul Kimmage. However, where Landis refused to have anything to do with the case brought against him by the UCI, Kimmage is intending on disputing the charges against him in person.

Landis failed a test for adverse ratio of testosterone/epitestosterone at the 2006 Tour de France. He subsequently denied that he doped, and even published a book - Positively False – protesting his innocence but was suspended from competition and stripped of the 2006 Tour title.

Then, in May 2010 Landis admitted that he had used banned blood doping techniques and performance enhacing substances during his professional career. More damning, though, was that he implicated others, including former US Postal team-mate Lance Armstrong and that the UCI had been implicit in covering up an alleged positive test returned by Armstrong.

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Kimmage: UCI just want to shut me up

  • David Chadderton

    Therefore, Lance was truthful as always stated and had no case to answer. QED.

  • Ken Evans

    ENOUGH OF MCQUAID !
    Someone from British Cycling should run the UCI.

    Landis should ignore this nonsense, and tell the court to ride off !

    The Kimmage case is pathetic, “shoot the messenger”.

    The real people that should be facing the full force of the law are Verbruggen, McQuaid, etc.
    The riders just try to fit into a corrupt system, (including Armstrong).

  • Colnago dave

    Barry,

    Just say you only think that the UCI etc: then you won’t get sued by the worthless crap that hides under the blanket called the UCI. and for Pat et al benefit I only think that they are a wothless etc

  • TG

    The UCI should be spending their time and money on catching riders and teams currently doing drugs. Seems to me that they are always putting the effort in the wrong place, such as chasing Kimmage, Landis and even Ulrich, even though he is retired.
    Clean the sport up now and you will no doubt get a better image and trust from the public.

  • John

    The USADA will have to rewrite their document for the UCI. Again.

    Don’t you just get the feeling that USADA were waiting to hear the judgement on this case before finishing that charge document that they’re having so much trouble with?

    I don’t believe for a moment that the USADA didn’t already have a document detailing all the reasons why they decided to ban and strip Lance Armstrong, and it’s been widely stated that Floyd Landis’s story plays a large part in that document. This ruling is a problem for USADA, but the bigger problem for the USADA is the USADA and why they’ve not simply handed over what they have to the UCI and WADA. This delay brings a whole load of doubt on their case and the evidence they’re using.

  • Colnago dave

    Between thisand Landis lawyer claims that Landis was never called to defend himself in this Swiss case and the pending Kimmage case it gets stranger and stranger.

    I’m no Landis fan but then what have the UCI done either, when it comes to doping they seem to be ineffective in getting the cases to court and take for ever to enforce any bans or sanctions. They are the World governing body and yet they seem powerless to prevent riders competing whilst doping cases drag through courts Contadors for exampl, or fighting the IOC decision to mess with track cycling
    Yet when it comes to frames needing an UCI approved sticker or the 3 to 1 ratio or other trivia they enforce the rules rigidly and trumpet their reasons for this in the name of globalisation.
    In many aspects Landis is right, his phraseology might be better but there are too many allegations about the UCI flying around just now for some of it not to be correct.

  • Extraordinary

    “Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever”

    Lance Armstrong has had more challenges and faced more difficulties, than most people. And with his pending and imminent court case ruling it doesn’t look like these adversities will cease soon.

    Lance Armstrong is a fighter, a survivor a champion, a inspiration while at the same time he is still a very human hero.

    Isextraordinary
    Information with Inspiration

  • Darryl

    Marvelously written piece . . . certainly made me a laugh

  • izzi green

    Will the UCI pronounce on USADA’s findings on Armstrong before or after the Kimmage defamation case?

  • barry

    What will McQuad et al do if the USDAC backs Landis’s comments ?????????

  • Mike

    And so the old boys network sticks together again.

    How do the Swiss court know what went on between Armstrong and the UCI? It is still being investigated.

    Why the hell would a skint Landis, cheat though he is, make this up knowing what would happen if it were not true?

    The plot thickens. Kimmage will not be so easy to dismiss, being an investigative journalist, he will have his facts and figures in place. Also, the fund will mean he can have the representation of a good lawyer.

  • barry

    Seems that I am going to get sued by Fat Pat and his mate if I say –

    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.”

  • redballoon

    I agree. An absolute farce. They should be ashamed of themselves. Lets hope Kimmage wins and the USADA file, when it is released, finally tells the truth about the UCI.

  • Mark Jones

    I guess money talks. It’s time that Pat and Verbruggen stepped down.

  • DJG

    They are behaving like cl*wns by bringing this case.