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Swiss court: Landis may not repeat slurs

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Swiss court: Landis may not repeat slurs
Photo: Michael David Murphy
10:30 CEST+02:00
A Swiss court on Wednesday found dope-tarnished American cyclist Floyd Landis guilty of defaming cycling's governing body the UCI.

Landis had accused the UCI, its president Pat McQuaid and his predecessor Hein Verbruggen, of concealing cases of doping and taking a bribe from Lance Armstrong for doing so.

In its ruling the tribunal forbade Landis to repeat these allegations.

The verdict went into precise detail as to what Landis cannot say or write in future, including:

- "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 clowns, their words are worthless, are liars, are no different to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, or to make any similar other allegations of that kind."

Landis, stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title for doping, was ordered to pay damages of €8,250 to both McQuaid and Verbruggen, as well as costs and damages.

He was also ordered to publish the court's verdict at his own expense in various publications, including in the Wall Street Journal and France's sports daily L'Equipe.

The UCI gave its reaction to the verdict, declaring in a statement: "The UCI has been notified of the judgement, returned by the Est Vaudois District Court, in its defamation case against Mr Floyd Landis.

"The judgment 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."

The UCI is involved in a second defamation action against former Irish cyclist turned journalist Paul Kimmage - that case is expected to be heard in December.

After four years of denial of doping Landis pleaded guilty to drug-taking in May 2010 and it was in part his testimony that brought about the downfall of Armstrong, who has been stripped by the US Anti-Doping Agency of his seven Tour de France titles.

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