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Landis found guilty of defaming UCI presidents

MYT 11:20:02 PM

PARIS (Reuters) - Disgraced Tour de France winner Floyd Landis must pay current and former UCI presidents Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen 10,000 Swiss francs (6,652.16 pounds) each after being found guilty of defamation by a Swiss court on Wednesday.

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".

U.S. cyclist Floyd Landis waits before heading out on a training ride with his new team in Temecula, California ,in this January 25, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Mike Blake/Files
U.S. cyclist Floyd Landis waits before heading out on a training ride with his new team in Temecula, California ,in this January 25, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Mike Blake/Files

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.

Former Sunday Times sports journalist Paul Kimmage, an ex-professional cyclist, is also being sued by the UCI for repeated attacks against the sport's governing body.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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