UCI hails win in Floyd Landis case
GENEVA -- The International Cycling Union said a Swiss court ruling has prohibited Floyd Landis from repeating claims that UCI leaders corruptly protected Lance Armstrong from a doping case.
"The judgment upholds and protects the integrity of the UCI and its presidents," the world cycling body said Wednesday in a statement released with copies of the court document.
In a Sept. 26 ruling on the defamation case published Wednesday by the UCI, Landis is ordered to pay UCI president Pat McQuaid and predecessor Hein Verbruggen $10,667 each, plus legal costs totaling $4,900.
Landis' lawyer, Leo Cunningham, said 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 wrote in a statement e-mailed to ESPN.com. "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.''
The ruling forbids Landis from stating that "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 (and) concealed cases of doping."
Landis is also required to pay to announce the judgment in The Wall Street Journal, French sports daily L'Equipe and several cycling websites. The daily De Volksrant in Verbruggen's native Netherlands and Geneva daily Le Temps are also included on the court's list.
Landis, who was stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title for doping, was sued in the district court in Vevey -- near the UCI's headquarters in Aigle -- after telling a German television station in November 2010 that the UCI protected some star riders from doping claims.
Landis has been given 10 days from receiving the court ruling to appeal, after which "the judgment shall become final and binding."
The document, headlined as a "Judgment by Default," stated that he could faces fines for failing to comply. However, Landis was not an active party in the civil court proceedings and it remains unclear how the orders would be enforced.
The same court is scheduled to hear another defamation case brought by the UCI against Irish journalist Paul Kimmage on Dec. 12.
Kimmage, a former Tour de France rider and anti-doping campaigner, has claimed the UCI and its leaders protected Armstrong from an alleged positive test for the blood-boosting hormone EPO at the 2001 Tour of Switzerland.
The UCI sued Kimmage last month after he made comments to L'Equipe and published an interview with Landis in British newspaper The Sunday Times.
"False accusations are unacceptable and unlawful, and the UCI will continue to defend itself against all such accusations," the governing body said Wednesday.
A cycling website, cyclismas.com, launched a defense fund to help pay Kimmage's legal fees. On Wednesday, it had pledges of more than $50,000.
Information from The Associated Press and ESPN.com senior writer Bonnie D. Ford was used in this report.
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